MELISSA A 17-year-old Melissa teen found his mother dead in their suburban home Monday afternoon, spurring police to launch the city's first murder investigation in decades.

Maple Lane in the Trails of Melissa is usually a quiet street. But on Tuesday, it was lined with police cars. Officers are investigating the Collin County city's first murder in decades. Many officers said they couldn't recall the last homicide in this community seven miles northeast of McKinney.

The victim, who hasn't been identified, was also a victim in an aggravated sexual assault in Denton County that occurred in March. On Tuesday, the district attorney attempted to contact the woman and discovered she had been killed.

The Cranston family saw the 17-year-old son coming home from school Monday at about 4 p.m.

'He went in the house like usual, and then ran outside,' said Melanie Cranston, who lives across the street. 'He was on the cell phone. The boy was just pacing back and forth in front of the house. We're just heartbroken for him.'

Melissa Police responded a few minutes later, finding the 34-year-old mother dead inside the house.

'We moved into Melissa just because it's a nice quiet bedroom community,' said Daniel Harlow, another neighbor. 'It's a wonderful place to raise the kids. And then all of a sudden, something like this happens.'

Neighbors say the woman, a single mother, rented the house about three months ago, and lived there with her son, who attends Melissa High School.

'I believe that we are safe,' said Cranston. 'I believe it was someone who knew her.'

Melissa has a small police department. The Collin County Sheriff's Office, the Texas Rangers and McKinney police are helping investigate. The department won't reveal the victim's identity or cause of death.


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