Police are still investigating the gruesome murder of 19-year-old Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers. The teen was found burned alive on the side-of-the-road Saturday night in rural Panola County. The teen was still alive when emergency responders made it to the scene; however, Chambers later succumb to her injuries at a Memphis hospital.
The heinous crime has made national news and put pressure on local law enforcement to find the killer responsible for Chamber’s death. The Clarion-Ledger has been in close communication with the Panola County Sheriff and reports that the investigators have found evidence that the killer was actually inside of Jessica’s car when she was set on fire.
The Ledger notes that police told family members that someone was inside Chambers’ car before the attack. The assailant poured accelerant down her throat and nose and set her on fire. Police also noted that Jessica had a large gash on her head that may indicate she was beaten before being burned alive. The police are unsure if Jessica was able to fight her attacker. However, reports indicate that Jessica was riding in the vehicle with the assailant, was knocked out, lighter fluid poured over her body, up her nose and down her throat and then the killer set the whole car ablaze. The fact that the killer was in the vehicle with Chambers is a strong indicator that Jessica knew her murderer.
The whole ordeal happened in a sparsely populated and heavily wooded area. No suspect was found at the scene when a passerby called in the horrific scene. Jessica was seen by the passerby walking, while still on fire, near her vehicle. When firefighters arrived Chambers was no longer on fire as previously reported, but had 98% of her body covered in burns. The Ledger notes that Chambers was able to whisper “a few names” of potential suspects to firefighters before being taken to the Memphis hospital where she would later die.
Jessica’s father, Ben Chambers, works for the Sheriff’s Department in maintenance. Ben claims that before Jessica Chambers died, she told investigators who committed the crime. However, authorities have refused to discuss those specific details as the investigation is still underway.
A 31-year-old man, Derick Turner, was brought in for questioning regarding the burning death of Jessica Chambers and was held. However, NBC reports the man has already been released. Turner spoke with news outlets and claims he had been held in the Panola County jail since Monday and was eventually released on Wednesday. Turner claims he had not seen Chambers in a few months.
The Inquisitr previously reported that the last known images of Jessica alive appear on a gas station video surveillance camera. The footage shows Jessica walking towards the gas station before someone she sees someone just out of the camera’s view. She waves at them and then walks over to the person, who remains unseen as they are just outside of the camera’s line-of-view. Police are focusing on the surveillance video and Jessica’s cell phone records to paint a complete picture of exactly where and what Jessica was doing just prior to her murder.
The murder of Jessica Chambers has rocked the small community and police are working all the leads they have received since the teen was burned alive.
[ Photo via Clarion-Ledger ]