Melissa was born in Demorest, Georgia and moved to Florida when she was 9. At 13, she started working as a veterinary assistant and later became a Vet Tech. Missing her home state, Melissa returned to Georgia to attend the University of Georgia where she obtained a BSA in Animal/Dairy Science with a minor in Pre-Veterinary medicine. Taking a break from the vet school long-haul, she came back to Florida for a semester and applied to her other favorite career choice, police officer. Melissa was hired by the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) in 1993 which she served until 1997, and then went on to become a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service. About a year and a half after joining the Secret Service, her father was diagnosed with lymphoma, so she returned to South Florida to be close to him. MDPD rehired Melissa, and she spent nearly 10 years with the Agricultural Patrol Unit as a detective and a Sergeant before moving to the training side of the department. She is currently assigned to the Northside District as a Lieutenant in charge of the Field Training program. Melissa has five horses, three of which are rescues, and she is very active in dog rescue. She spends her spare time training and competing with her Australian Cattle Dogs and Boston Terriers, and trail riding on her equine babies.