DA: Cell phone evidence expected in Jessica Chambers investigation

By: Tom Dees

Updated:

PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. (FOX13) - Panola County employee Ben Chambers said he is still grieving and calling for the public's help in coming forward with any information that will help solve his daughter's fiery murder. 

He praised investigators for their work and cried over his daughter's brutal murder.

"The doctor told us in Memphis that they had squirted stuff in her mouth and she was burned so much deep down," Chambers said.

District Attorney John Champion has confirmed that some kind of flammable liquid was used in the fiery killing of Jessica Chambers.

"I mean it's bad. I have been doing this for 21 years and as far as the means of death it is certainly the worst I have dealt with," said Champion.

Nobody has been arrested although investigators have interviewed many people.

This investigation is complicated because the site of the murder is on a desolate road.

Investigators may have caught a break because Jessica was captured on a surveillance camera at a gas station late Saturday. They also say they have cell phone evidence.

"They won't tell me really anything right now but they have her cell phone,” said Chambers. “I know they have some good leads, that's all I know." 

A man seen carrying gas can in surveillance video near Jessica Chambers as she gassed up Saturday evening in Courtland is not associated with the investigation Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said.

Ben Chambers says he has been getting calls of support from around the country.

"Saturday night they are all going to light a candle for my daughter you know its heart touching to know you got good people at a time even when there are bad people," the father said.

There is a vigil for Jessica Chambers Saturday night, Dec. 13, on The Square in Batesville beginning at 5 p.m.

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UPDATE Dec. 19, 2:00 p.m.: District Attorney John Champion says cell phone evidence is expected within a few hours. D.A. John Champion said it was clear an accelerate was used in the burning death of Jessica Chambers and her car. No arrests have been made in the Jessica Chambers case. Investigators are drawing timeline of where she was. D.A. calling it one of the worst cases he has ever seen.

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(earlier)

The family of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers, who died Saturday evening in Panola County after being burned alive, wants justice now.

Ms. Chambers tried to tell Panola County law enforcement what happened, but she was burned so badly she couldn't speak.

Ms. Chambers of Courtland was found in in a remote spot in Panola County on Saturday night just after 8 p.m. She was near death from burns. Her car was on fire. She later died at Regional One's burn unit in Memphis.


The young woman's family and friends spent Monday making funeral arrangements.

"How can you put a 19-year-old kid in a car and catch it on fire?," said Allyssa Cotten, Chambers' best friend. "She was taken in such a cruel and such a horrible way. Just so unreal to me, I will never get to see her again. Justice will be served."

Lisa Chambers, the victim's mother, said her daughter's killer or killers would be judged by God, not her.

"And when they took her they took what was left of me," Lisa Chambers said. "They might as well have done it to me, sorry."

Sheriff Darby said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the sheriff's department spent the day combing over what was left of Chambers' car and they have come up with new leads.

Sheriff Darby said he is taking this case personally because the victim's father works as a mechanic for the Panola County Sheriff.

"I know this father," the sheriff said. "He is a really hard working guy. He is not deserving of this. Yes, it's personal."

The family has created a Facebook page “Justice For Jessica” to help in the search for her killer.

The road was closed as crews investigated the crash.
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