• FBI, ATF, Marshals involved in Jessica Chambers investigation

    By: Tom Dees


    PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. (FOX13) - UPDATE:  Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby says reward in Jessica Chambers' homicide has jumped to $21,000 and will likely climb higher later today.
    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.

    "I've even gotten calls from the Texas Rangers saying they would be glad to come over and help," said Champion, "They have different labs we can use, we have different expertise in different things we can all use."

    Champion said investigators have pulled more soil samples Dec. 5 from the Panola County site where the 19-year-old was killed in the quest for more evidence. Those results have not returned.

    Monday law enforcement announced the autopsy results returned, but that information is not being released because it could jeopardize the case.

    Law enforcement is also not releasing how the fire accelerant was used or what Jessica whispered before she died.

    "We're not just sitting back doing nothing," said Champion, "We are out there in the field, we're out there using every tool available to us, every piece of technology available to us."

    He also called social media comments about the case "ridiculous." Champion didn't site specific examples, but Jessica's friends say many comments on Facebook have been racial in nature.

    "They're calling her crime a racial act," said Alicia Faulkner, "I'm tired of seeing black, white ... I don't care if you were pink, purple, black, white or, God knows, but it happened to her. He could've been white; he could've been black. We don't know."

    Hundreds paid their respects at her funeral Dec. 13, a week after she died. Later that evening they held a candlelight vigil in Batesville.

    At $11,000 reward is now being offered for anyone with information that leads to an arrest in the murder case. D.A. Champion says Crime Stoppers is providing a $1,000 reward and the U.S. Marshals Office has added an additional $10,000 to that.

    On Monday, more people were interviewed by investigators. Unmarked law enforcement vehicles were seen at Lisa Chambers' house, the victim's mother. Investigators were seen taking photos.

    If you have any information in this case you are asked to call North Central Mississippi Crime Stoppers at 1-800-729-2169.
    Donations can be sent "In memory of Jessica Chambers" to the Renasant Bank, P.O. Box 1525 in Batesville, Miss., 38606. You can also send flowers or cards through the Wells Funeral Home in Batesville. 


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