Woman Burned Alive On A Roadside In A Posh Suburb: Police Have Arrested The Suspect

A suspect in the horrifying burning murder of a lady in an affluent Austin suburb earlier this autumn has been taken into custody by Texas police.

Firefighters responded to a 911 call on September 29 about a grassfire outside a resident’s fence and discovered Melissa Davis, 33, on fire on the side of Mesa Drive near Cat Mountain Drive.

Woman Burned Alive On A Roadside In A Posh Suburb: Police Have Arrested The Suspect

For allegedly setting Davis on fire, authorities detained 45-year-old Andrew Alexander Cole on October 25 on a felony count of tampering with physical evidence with intent to impair.

“The decedent was so severely disfigured from the fire that the identification of the sex or race could not be made at the scene,” according to an affidavit obtained by Fox News Digital.

Davis’s fingerprints have to be used for identification.

The University of North Texas graduate’s mysterious death was the subject of a weeks-long inquiry that led to the charge.

According to an affidavit acquired by Fox News Digital, investigators allegedly used cellphone data and surveillance footage to link Cole to the gruesome crime, though it was unclear how the two knew each other.

According to the affidavit, security footage shows the two of them together at the La Quinta Inn in South Austin.

Davis was spotted on September 28, at approximately 7 p.m., in her blue Toyota 4Runner, trailing a white Kia that turned out to be Cole’s. The vehicles may be seen pulling into the motel’s parking lot at 1603 E. Oltorf St.

Before the three of them check into the motel, Davis—who holds a master’s degree in sustainable tourism from the University of North Texas—is seen getting out of her SUV and meeting Cole and an unidentified male. Davis appears on the video for the final time at this point.

Cole drove Davis’ Toyota out of the motel multiple times later that night.

According to the affidavit, Cole is seen pulling up to the back of the La Quinta Inn the following morning at 4:03 a.m., opening the trunk, and putting “an item of some weight” inside.

Home security footage of Davis’ Toyota 4Runner shows it travelling south on Mesa Drive at 4:54 in the morning, not far from the location where she was dropped on the side of the road in the Northwest Hills neighbourhood.

Cole’s phone rang there as well a minute later. The affidavit claims that six minutes later, flames are visible on the security footage of a different residence.

Just off the road, firefighters discovered Davis’s body fully consumed by flames. According to the warrant, police “smelled a strong odour of accelerant” close to the burned body and discovered a lighter on the ground.

Close to Davis’s burnt upper body, a police K-9 unearthed a butcher knife with a melted handle.

Investigators believe Davis was alive when she was set on fire, according to a search warrant for her mobile that KXAN was able to get. However, the official cause of death for Davis is still unknown pending toxicology results.

The affidavit did not specify the type of game rooms that Davis’ mother said police her daughter frequently attended.

Authorities were also informed by a family member that Davis claimed her phone broke and that the day before she was discovered dead, she was on her way to the Apple store to get it serviced. On September 28, however, the phone was turned on between 7:07 and 9:57 p.m. and it rang off a tower close to the motel, as per the police.

Previously, Davis’ family members expressed their shock at the horrific circumstances surrounding her murder to Fox News Digital.

“It’s an incredible loss for all of us,” said Davis’ stepmother, Mary Anne Castles. “We’re all going through a difficult time and just trying to wrap our heads around this.”

Cole is being jailed at the Travis County Correctional Complex on a $100,000 bail.

In a separate matter, he is accused of misdemeanour contempt for allegedly not making child support payments. In that instance, the bond was set at $1,800. His next court date is November 17.

A request for comment from the Austin Police Department was not answered.

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