January 13, 2015
MISSISSIPPI – Officials said the reward amount in the death of Courtland teen Jessica Chambers is now up to $43,000.
Panola County District Attorney John Champion said the FBI has added $25,000 to the amount in hopes that it may bring people out who know something about Chambers’ death.
“A lot of things in this world are money-driven, and we’re hoping that there’s someone out there that know something that sees the reward and is willing to come forward,” Champion said.
Chambers was found on Herron Road in Courtland a little after 8 p.m. on Dec. 6, walking away from her burning vehicle with burns over 98 percent of her body. Coroner Gracie Gulledge said the cause of the young woman’s death was thermal injury.
Officials classified Chambers’ death as a homicide, but in spite of interviewing what they have said is more than 100 potential witnesses, they say they still have yet to emerge with a prime suspect.
Chambers’ father, Ben Chambers, said her family is in a potential state of anxiety, waiting on some word on the case. He said since he does work for the sheriff’s department, they have left him out of the loop on investigation details for his own sake.
“We’re just waitig and hoping that something will hurry up and happen, and praying and getting through it,” he said. “If something doesn’t happen we might go crazy.”
Chambers made a statement to first responders in which she allegedly gave them the name of her attacker, but even leads connected to that statement have not yet panned out.
At least publicly, law enforcement hasn’t been able to point to a prime suspect. They have also commented that talk on the street has been uncharacteristically silent, which has hindered what could have been a more routine investigation if people were talking quite as much as they normally do.
Given the national notoriety and heinous nature of the crime, that has proven frustrating for officials and the public alike.
Much public speculation has linked the crime to alleged gangs in the area, but Ben Chambers said someone claiming to be a high-ranking gang member in the area had contacted him to tell him that the gangs in the area were angry and upset about what happened to Jessica as well.
“They’re very upset about it. They said you wouldn’t even do a dog like that,” Ben Chambers said.
So the search for suspects continues. (read more)