Jessica Chambers murder investigation

by: Leah Beth Bolton Updated:

A timeline of the Jessica Chambers murder investigation: 

>>PHOTOS: Jessica Chambers murder trial 

December 6, 2014: The Panola County Sheriff's Department began investigating a car fire outside of Courtland, Miss, that left a woman dead. The fire happened around 8:15 on a Saturday night just south of Courtland. The Panola County coroner identified the victim as 19-year old Jessica Lane Chambers.

December 7, 2014: Chambers dies from her injuries. She supposedly whispered the name of her killer to family and law enforcement before she passed. 

December 8, 2014: Father, 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.

December 11, 2014: Five days after Jessica Chambers tragic death family and friends are warning their supporters to beware of scammers. At least one fake donation account has popped up online.

December 12, 2014: An $11,000 reward is being offered for anyone with information that leads to an arrest in the Jessica Chambers murder case.

December 13, 2014: Vigil and visitation held for Jessica Chambers at Wells Funeral Home Chapel in Batesville. Shortly after, hundreds of people attended the funeral of Jessica Chambers.

December 15, 2014: Agents with the FBI, ATF, and the U.S. Marshals are now involved in the murder investigation of Jessica Chambers and assisting with resources according to District Attorney John Champion.

December 17, 2014:  Reward in Jessica Chambers’ investigation raised to $16K.

December 19, 2014: Two weeks after Jessica Chambers died after being set on fire in Courtland, Miss., family members are now getting involved to help raise funds to catch her killer.

December 22, 2014:  Mourners decorated the yellow-taped crime scene in Courtland where Jessica Chambers was burned alive with Christmas flowers, small Christmas trees and an evergreen wreath.

December 26, 2014: Jessica Chambers reward raised to $18K.

January 22, 2015: ATF adds $10K to Jessica Chambers reward.

January 31, 2015: Family and friends of 19-year old Jessica Chambers gathered in Sardis, Miss., for a vigil and balloon release just days shy of what would've been her 20th birthday.

February 9, 2015: Reward in Jessica Chambers murder case increased to $54K.

June 11, 2015: Chambers investigator talks exclusively with FOX13 about the progress in the case

June 11, 2015: Jessica's father, Ben Chambers, sat with FOX13 to discuss the trying times, along with the added grief he's had to take on.  “We are having a problem with my insurance company not wanting to pay off on my daughter because they said that she wasn't a student in school,” Ben Chambers said. “I have my insurance through Met Life, and they are not wanting to pay off now.”

October 21, 2015: Jessica Chambers’ mother: Clear my name or arrest me: Lisa Daugherty, Jessica’s mother, told FOX13 the time following her daughter’s death has been very difficult. She has been continually harassed by people who accuse her and other family members of having something to do with the murder.

November 20, 2015: FOX13 learned that Major Barry Thompson was arrested on DUI charges in Panola County. Thompson is Panola County’s lead homicide investigator and has been leading the investigation into the murder of Jessica Chambers.

November 24, 2015: Jessica Chambers' family stands behind investigator, despite DUI arrest.

December 15, 2015: 17 arrested during drug raids launched out of Jessica Chambers’ investigation

February 23, 2016: Sources tell FOX13 27-year-old Quinton Tellis of Courtland, Mississippi, will be indicted in the death of Jessica Chambers. Tellis is currently in jail in Louisiana on unrelated charges. 

February 24, 2016: News conference held announces that Quinton Tellis has been officially charged with capital murder and third-degree arson in the murder of Jessica Chambers. 

February 29, 2016: Family members of Quinton Tellis tell FOX13 they do not believe he is guilty. Tellis used to live in a trailer off of HWY 51 with his mother in Courtland. The trailer was within walking distance of the M&M Quick Stop where Chambers was last seen alive before being burned to death. 

May 9, 2015: Tellis pleads guilty to one count of unauthorized use of an access card in a separate case in Monroe, Louisiana. The card belonged to 34-year-old Meing-Chen "Mandy" Hsiao, who was found stabbed to death on Aug. 8, 2015, one week after she was reported missing. 

June 23, 2015: Tellis is extradited to Mississippi. He is housed at the DeSoto County Jail in Hernando, Miss. 

July 7, 2016: Tellis is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Hsiao in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. 

July 14, 2016:  Tellis appears in court and enters not guilty plea in Chambers' death. Tellis is represented by Atty. Darla Palmer.

October 8, 2017: Jury selection to begin for the Chambers' trial in Pike County, Miss. 

October 10, 2017: Trial set to begin in Batesville, Miss. It is expected to last anywhere from 8-14 days. At least 40 witnesses have been subpoenaed by the state. 

October 16, 2017: Mistrial declared in the Jessica Chambers murder case.

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