North Texas Man Charged With Murdering Ex-Girlfriend

Tommy Bays III | Image by City of Denton Jail
Tommy Bays III | Image by City of Denton Jail

The Denton Police Department has arrested a suspect in the murder of a woman found inside the shed of a vacant house in January.

Tommy Bays III was booked on criminal homicide charges into the City of Denton Jail on Wednesday, according to a news release. The 39-year-old has allegedly been linked to the death of 44-year-old Melonie Frye, his ex-girlfriend.

Frye’s body was discovered by property management staff in a shed in the 900 block of Monterey Drive on February 17. In March, her death was ruled a homicide by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Bays had already been identified as a person of interest in Frye’s murder due to their prior relationship; however, his recent arrest came after forensic evidence allegedly linked him to the crime scene.

Jail records show Bays had a criminal history of burglary, domestic violence, and drug possession.

The investigation is still ongoing, and anyone with information that may help bring Frye’s murderer to justice is asked to call Detective David Bearden at 940-349-7986 or Denton County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-388-TIPS (8477).

Last year, Denton, which currently has a population of around 159,609, had just seven criminal homicides, which was the same number logged in 2022. Meanwhile, Dallas, a city of nearly 1.3 million, clocked 246 murders — a 15% uptick year over year, according to data from the City’s crime analytics dashboard.

Although the violent crime rate has dropped recently, several murders were logged in Dallas this past week, as covered in The Dallas Express. Of the 72 criminal homicides reported this year as of May 8, 61 involved male victims, 40 of which were black and 17 Hispanic.

The Dallas Police Department has been laboring under a significant staffing deficit, with just 3,000 officers fielded despite a City report recommending a police force of 4,000 to cover a jurisdiction the size of Dallas. This shortfall is expected to persist, with the Dallas City Council recently allocating just $654 million to DPD this fiscal year, which is considerably less than the police budgets seen in other high-crime cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

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