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Murder suspect arrested in connection with fatal shooting of couple in Orange

Manka Melson, 24, is a murder suspect in the shooting death of Aaliyah Gradnigo, 18, and Thalamus Livings, 23.

ORANGE, Texas — Orange Police officers arrested a 24-year-old murder suspect on Thursday in connection with the January homicide of a young couple in Orange.

Manka Melson, 24, is the suspect in the shooting death of Aaliyah Gradnigo, 18, and Thalamus Livings, 23, according to the Orange Police Department.

Officers say Melson was taken into custody in Jefferson County without incident.

Original Story: Investigation underway after double homicide in Orange

Officers reported to the 2300 block of Coronado Place around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, after a reported shooting. 

When officers arrived at the home, they found two people with gunshot wounds. Livings was pronounced dead at the scene, and Gradnigo was taken to a nearby hospital where she later died due to her gunshot wound.

Detectives met with a person of interest on Jan. 27, but couldn't make an arrest until forensic evidence, including DNA test results, came back from a crime lab, according to a 12News file story.

Melson was arraigned in Jefferson County on Thursday as a capital murder suspect, according to an Orange County news release. The motive for the incident is still unclear.

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

Credit: Courtesy photo
Someone shot and killed Aaliyah Gradnigo, 18, and Thalamus Livings, 23, early Saturday morning, Jan. 24.
Credit: KBMT
Orange County community bands together after suspect arrested in shooting death of couple Aaliyah Gradnigo, 18, and Thalamus Livings, 23.
Credit: KBMT
Orange County community bands together after suspect arrested in shooting death of couple Aaliyah Gradnigo, 18, and Thalamus Livings, 23.

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From an Orange County Police Department news release...

On April 29, 2021 Orange PD detectives with the assistances from Beaumont PD and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office served an arrest warrant for Manka Melson for the January 23, 2021 homicides of Aaliyah Gradnigo and Thalamus Livings.  Melson was taken into custody in Jefferson County without incident.

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