The Hawk Story
Hawk Analytics was founded over a decade ago and is privately owned by Mike Melson and his wife, Dr. Bridget Melson. The Melsons are passionate about helping families find their loved ones. They began volunteering on search and rescue teams for missing persons in the early 2000s and eventually founded a nonprofit organization dedicated solely to that purpose. After assisting on a number of missions, Mike saw an immense amount of value in cell phone data and how it could help law enforcement. Coupled with his background in computer and cellular engineering, Mike worked in his garage in the middle of the night until CellHawk was born.
CellHawk has been instrumental in assisting law enforcement investigations for the past 7 years and nearly a thousand of law enforcement agencies across the country trust their analysis and courtroom presentations to CellHawk and Hawk Analytics today.
We value honesty, integrity and our customers and seek to apply these values to every interaction, case and analysis.
We are constantly looking for talented individuals who are passionate about empowering our users to solve cases accurately and quickly.
Any law enforcement agency handling an emergency / exigent situation that involves cell phone data analysis or mapping is welcome to use CellHawk for free.
Meet The Hawk Team
Founder & CEO | Sr. SME
Mike’s prior experience includes working in the cellular industry as a software engineer and was a volunteer pilot for a large California Sheriff’s Department. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Master of Science degree in System Architecture and Engineering – Software Discipline, from the University of Southern California. Mike started his software engineering career working under contract for NASA developing and maintaining the Space Shuttle flight software.
Hawk Subject Matter Expert (SME)
Senior Director of Business Operations | Sr. SME
Nicole is a United States Army veteran who came to Hawk Analytics after a decade long law enforcement intelligence analyst career. During that time, she worked with call detail records on a daily basis, and earned numerous awards for her analyses from the federal to local law enforcement levels. In 2016, Hawk Analytics offered Nicole a platform to keep creating and serving, and she takes pride in being able to continue innovating for and helping law enforcement.
Hawk Subject Matter Expert (SME)
Senior Director of Technical Operations | Sr. SME
After 29 years in law enforcement, Tom joined Hawk Analytics in 2016. He has been working with call detail records for over 20 years and brings incomparable experience when it comes to investigating using cellular technology. His background in digital forensics paired with his great attention to detail augment his strong foundation for being Hawk’s point person for ensuring our solutions are top of the line, up-to-date, and accurately represent the information relevant to investigations.
Hawk Subject Matter Expert (SME)
Senior Business Development Manager
Michael is a top producing SaaS Sales and Business Development Executive with over 20 years of sales experience. His skill set includes working with small and medium-sized business (SMB) and large enterprise accounts to drive sales volume and increase profit margins. He is well experienced establishing and maintaining solid business relationships and customer credibility. He is new to our team and is excited about helping Hawk Analytics grow.
Senior Software Engineer
Steve graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s School of Engineering and, since that time, has had an accomplished career. He has previously worked as a Senior Software Engineer at Sabre, Travelocity, Ortbiz, and Expedia. Steve joined Hawk in 2020 and quickly became a key contributing member of Hawk’s development team.
Director of Customer Success | SME
Samantha provided in-depth case support on felony investigations for 7 years with the Missouri State Highway Patrol as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst. She started out analyzing call detail records the “old-fashioned way” and has used CellHawk extensively while working in missing persons and violent crime units. She believed in the mission of Hawk Analytics so much that in 2019 she joined the team. In her current role, Samantha helps our users daily with their cases.
Hawk Subject Matter Expert (SME)
Director of Customer Success | SME
Westry brings 25 years of law enforcement experience, including 8 years of analyzing call detail records, to her role at Hawk Analytics. While in law enforcement, she specialized in high profile felony cases, including homicides, missing persons and sex crimes throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. After having so much success using CellHawk in her casework and court testimonies, Westry became a believer in the Hawk mission, which ultimately brought her to her current position in 2020.
Ally graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies. She taught 6th Grade Reading and Social Studies and has facilitated 6th and 10th Grade homeschool curriculum. She joined the Hawk Team in 2021 and has been instrumental in ensuring our office runs efficiently and effectively.
Senior Account Success Manager
Prior to joining Hawk Analytics, Laurie spent most of her professional career helping corporations avoid cyber-crime as a member of IBM’s Managed Security Services Practice. Laurie is passionate about equipping and enabling law enforcement to better serve their communities. Laurie joined Hawk in 2019 and has unparalleled enthusiasm for law enforcement and truly believes in the value of CellHawk.
Senior Sales Executive
Derek has a demonstrated history of success in managing and maintaining strategic accounts. His unique blend of strong technical aptitude, interpersonal relationship skills and a passion for people makes him a key member of our high caliber sales team. Derek joined Hawk in 2020 and continues to meet customer expectations at an exemplary level.
Senior Marketing and Event Manager
Lynn has an entrepreneurial background with extensive experience in marketing, graphics, HR, event coordination, non-profits, publishing, news, photography, mentorship, and leadership training. Here at Hawk her duties include managing the Hawk Foundation, coordinating the company’s participation in trade shows and events, and adding her expertise to our marketing and HR deliverables. One of Lynn’s noted objectives when moving to Texas was “To work with a family owned or small business that has deep purpose and impact.” She is a perfect fit for Hawk.
Account Success Manager
Louie brings 18 years of law enforcement experience to Hawk Analytics, where he spent most of his career supervising the Criminal Investigations Division. Shortly after leaving law enforcement, Louie spent a short stint in the telecommunications industry working as a Fraud Analyst with Sprint. In July of 2020, Louie was offered an opportunity to be a part of the Hawk Analytics team. Louie has a servant leadership mentality and is passionate about serving others.
On 06/12/17 at approximately 12:30 am, Culver City Police Officers responded to a radio call of a burglary alarm at Read More…
On 06/12/17 at approximately 12:30 am, Culver City Police Officers responded to a radio call of a burglary alarm at Bevmo, located at 5634 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City.
Upon arrival, Officers learned that the front window had been smashed, and a likely burglary had occurred.
Additional officers arrived at the scene, and a lengthy pursuit occurred involving multiple CCPD Officers and the suspect vehicle (Dodge minivan; rental vehicle) covering approximately seventeen miles throughout West Los Angeles into LAPD jurisdiction. Three suspects ran from the vehicle following the pursuit, and all three suspects were eventually arrested near the area where the pursuit ended.
One cell phone was recovered from one of the suspects, who helped Investigators identify additional suspects phone numbers involved in the Culver City crime and other burglaries. CCPD Investigators learned that this “crew” of suspects was likely responsible for dozens of burglaries involving Bevmo locations all over the state of California.
Having used CellHawk for the past couple years, CCPD Investigators obtained warrants for more than ten different phone numbers; all of which were believed to be possible conspirators involved in the ongoing burglaries involving Bevmo locations dating back to late 2015. Once phone records were obtained and input into CellHawk, CCPD Investigators were able to confirm the whereabouts of at least one or more of the involved conspirators as having tower hits at or near sixty-four (64) burglaries within seven different states.
“Without the cell phone record data, and the user-friendly platform CellHawk provides, it goes without saying that virtually all of these burglaries would have remained unsolved without CellHawk and its capabilities.”
– Investigator Ryan Thompson, Culver City PD
BARTONVILLE, TX, October 25, 2019— It’s been nearly a year since one of the deadliest and most destructive fires in Read More…
BARTONVILLE, TX, October 25, 2019— It’s been nearly a year since one of the deadliest and most destructive fires in modern history hit the United States. The California Camp Fire raged on for 17 days and covered almost 240 sq miles, causing people to flee their homes, and over 1,000 people went missing in the first week. Knowing traditional missing persons investigative techniques would take too long, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office partnered with Hawk Analytics to pull cellular tower records from four major companies, resulting in over 1 million records that needed processing. This unconventional method would prove to beneficial in reuniting victims with their families.
CEO & Founder of Hawk Analytics, Mike Melson, was personally connected to the disaster. His parents, who lived in Paradise, CA, the hardest-hit community, called to tell him they got out of the fire’s path and were safe. Shocked about the news of the fire and grateful for this family’s safety, he knew others were not so lucky, so he immediately got involved in helping. Mike said, “Hawk Analytics has always been about ‘doing the right thing,’ and we’re always willing to help and make a difference.”
Investigators from Butte County Sheriff’s Office and Hawk Analytics wasted no time getting started finding missing people. Their goal was to find cellular phone numbers of the missing people, find anyone they had communicated with during the fire, and confirm they had gotten out of the fire area safely. Getting this information was a monumental task in coordination with various cellphone companies, and little by little, the information started to pay off.
Using CellHawk, software designed by Hawk Analytics to interpret cellular records, and utilizing special techniques used by both partners, over 3,000 missing people were located and reunited with their loved ones thanks to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office and a little help from Hawk Analytics.
On January 25, 2016, Michael Phillips was shot and killed in his home in Jonesboro, Georgia. Matthew Simonds, a detective Read More…
On January 25, 2016, Michael Phillips was shot and killed in his home in Jonesboro, Georgia. Matthew Simonds, a detective with the Clayton County Police Department, was assigned the case. He and his team responded to the scene. There they found Mr. Phillip’s deceased from multiple gunshot injuries.
Multiple interviews took place the days following the homicide where Detective Simonds and his team learned this was the result of a drug deal gone bad.
Witnesses told the detective that a man by the name of “Capone” introduced Mr. Phillips to two other men who wanted to purchase marijuana. They also told investigators that Mr. Phillips was suspicious of the arrangement and called off the deal. However, Capone was seen talking to Mr. Phillips later and reassured him that he vouched for the men’s credibility.
The next day Capone and the same two men arrived at Mr. Phillips house. Witnesses, who were also there, told Detective Simonds that Mr. Phillips, “Capone,” and the two men went into the house supposedly to continue the drug deal from the night prior. They said a short time later they heard several gunshots from within Mr. Phillips home.
A man quickly exited the house carrying a handgun and a duffel bag. He ran to a car, a white Chrysler 300, got in and sped away from the scene. Capone and a woman who was with him also fled the scene in a separate vehicle. Witnesses ran into the house and found Mr. Phillips lying on the floor with a gunshot wound. He appeared to be dead.
Detectives used digital forensic tools on Mr. Phillips cellphone. They found text messages between him and Capone. They learned that Capone was brokering a drug deal between Mr. Phillips and the suspects. A search warrant issued to the phone carrier for records and subscriber information revealed more information.
The Call Detail Records (CDRs) were imported into CellHawk and revealed all the patterns in communications with everyone involved in the brokering of the drug deal. Detectives were quickly able to identify “Capone” as Tony Hardin, the passenger of the Chrysler as Tywan Porter, and the driver/gunman as Zalon Brown. Other records check revealed Mr. Brown owned a white Chrysler 300.
The CDRs not only showed the communications between the people involved but also could put them near the scene of the homicide at the time it occurred AND in the area the previous night.
Detectives requested arrest warrants for all three men for their participation in Michael Phillips murder.
During the trial, Detective Simonds showed the jury how CellHawk mapped out the CDRs for each suspect. The Prosecutor presented the CellHawk reports as demonstrative aids during the trial. The jury ultimately found Zalon Brown guilty of murder, and he received a life sentence.
“CellHawk was an invaluable aid, both for the initial investigation and for the presentation during the trial,” says Detective Simonds. “It is, without doubt, a tool that is necessary for analyzing phone records in criminal investigations and prosecutions.”