Reported By Stephanie Langston, Reporter - bio | email
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. -
A 15-year-old Hendersonville teenager is behind bars after police said he beat his mother to death and set the family's home on fire.
The suspect's 16-year-old brother woke up to a smoke alarm at the family's home on Gannett Road just after Midnight Saturday morning and found his mother, 46-year-old Melanie Davis, dead.
After an extensive search, police found the suspect walking down Nichols Lane, more than four miles away.
Residents in the Creekside community say the neighborhood is family-friendly and typically quiet.
Former co-worker and friend Tanya Porter was devastated to hear what happened.
"When you told me it was her I just still cannot believe it," she told Nashville's News 2 several hours after the murder, adding, "You hear about things like this possibly happening but not to someone you know."
Porter said Davis was a single mother after losing her husband to Lou Gehrig's disease a few years ago.
"She had gotten in to running and marathons and was a single mom, of course, raising her two boys as a single mom," she said.
Porter said the victim's 15-year-old son lived at the home but rarely came outside.
"He didn't say a whole lot [and] wouldn't really talk a whole lot... [He is] very nonfunctional, I would say socially," she said.
Davis is from Austria.
Her 15-year-old son faces murder charges and remains behind bars.
A detention hearing in juvenile court has been set for Tuesday at 2 p.m.