PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. — Authorities said Tuesday no one is in custody for the death of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers, who died after being set on fire Saturday evening.
District Attorney John Champion said investigators are questioning several people and reviewing Jessica’s cellphone data.
The 19-year-old was found Saturday evening on Herron Road near Courtland, Mississippi. She was set on fire inside her car and died at Regional Medical Center in Memphis.
Seasoned investigators called Jessica’s murder”the most brutal crime they’ve ever seen.”
WREG met with Lisa Chambers, Jessica’s mother, Monday at a funeral home, after she finalized plans for her daughter’s burial.
Chambers said her daughter lived with her, and Jessica planned to go get her car cleaned Saturday evening. She spoke with her daughter on the phone around 6:48 p.m., and Jessica said she was going to get a bite to eat.
“[She] said ‘Bye, I love you, Mama. See you in a little while.’ Next time I seen her, she was in the Med,” Chambers said.
Chambers wants justice for her daughter.
“God’s punishment is going to be far more worse than anything that we can do,” she said about her daughter’s killer.
Jessica’s family is trying to stay strong while investigators work round-the-clock to find who is responsible for her horrible death.
“I’ve been doing this 21 years now. And as far as the manner of death, this is certainly one of the worst I’ve ever dealt with,” Champion said.
Champion said Tuesday investigators are leaving no stone unturned in their search for the killer or killers.
“We’re bringing folks in to interview, talking to different potential witnesses. But as far as arrests are concerned, there have been none made,” Champion said.
He wouldn’t talk about Jessica’s autopsy results or go into detail about her activities the night she died, but she was reportedly seen on security camera video at a convenience store late Saturday.
Champion did say some sort of flammable liquid was used to start the fire, and that investigators are checking her cellphone records to see who she’d been talking to, in hopes that information could lead to a break in the case.
Charlotte Wilkerson, a friend of Jessica’s, said she was brought in for questioning after her phone number showed up on Jessica’s phone.
“They took her phone records and I was in there. And she called me Aunty Sha-Sha. And I was in there as Sha-Sha, and I went and talked to them Sunday evening,” Wilkerson said.
Ben Chambers, Jessica’s father, said he’s in pain knowing how terribly his daughter must have suffered.
“Ninety-eight percent of her body was burned. The only thing that wasn’t burned was the bottom of her feet. It’s just destroyed our family, it’s destroyed our family. She was a loving child, 19 years old. Just finished high school. Had her whole life in front of her,” he said.
He said he has faith that investigators will find who’s responsible for his daughter’s death and is touched by the show of support from people who have heard about the tragedy.
“From New York. East coast to West coast. People I’ve never heard of or dreamed of called me and said Saturday night they’re going to light a candle for my daughter,” Chambers said.
Jessica’s family said her visitation will be at Wells Funeral Home from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Her funeral is at the same location at 2 p.m. Saturday. A candlelight service is also scheduled this Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Batesville, Mississippi, town square.