Panola County


*UPDATED* 19-year-old girl burned alive in Panola County, Mississippi

Source: WTOC/Chambers Family

Source: WTOC/Chambers Family

Scroll down for more updates

PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. – Jessica Chambers, a 19-year-old woman was doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire this past Saturday night in Courtland, Miss.

carAuthorities say that Jessica was found burning near her car that was also engulfed in flames. A passerby called the Panola County sheriff’s office about the burning car along Herron Road, near Highway 51 in Courtland. She was flown to Regional One Health in Memphis, Tenn. but later died. Her family members are desperately seeking answers in this bizarre and heinous murder.

Chambers was the daughter of a Panola County Sheriff’s Department maintenance worker.

The 19-year-old had left her home to go clean out her car and to get something to eat, her mother Lisa Chambers said. “[She] said ‘Bye, I love you, Mama. See you in a little while,” Chambers said. She would never make it back home.

Her father, Ben Chambers,said his daughter tried to tell responders who killed her.

“When the fire department got there, she was walking down the road on fire. Only part of her body that wasn’t burned was the bottom of her feet,” he said.

Her father also says, “They squirted lighter fluid down her throat and in her nose, and apparently they knocked her out. She had a big gash on top of her head.”

There is a huge support on social media from family, friends, and strangers demanding answers as they use the hashtag #JusticeforJessica.

Source: WTOC/Chambers Family

Source: WTOC/Chambers Family

WTOC reports:

Assistant District Attorney Jay Hale knows someone in the community knows something and is pleading for help. Detectives are working to learn who the 19-year-old may have been with before her murder.

“We’re trying to go through the information that we have, certainly interviewing all the potential witnesses we can and going through and using the phone records we can,” Hale said.

“The sheriff called me this morning he told me, he said, ‘I’m working hard,'” Chambers said. “They took something from me I can’t ever get back. Not ever, you know? It’s a part of me gone forever.”

Jessica’s mother hopes for a tip that could lead to her daughter’s killer or killers. “Even if they don’t think it’s information, if it’s just something they heard, to please call the sheriff’s department,” Lisa Chambers said.

Several people are being questioned by detectives, but no arrests have been made. The teen’s car, and any potential clues inside, are charred black. Investigators did find a cell phone at the scene.

Investigators will not disclose at this time what Jessica was able to tell them at the last moment, but the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case.

News video via WMC News 5:

This is a very sad and gruesome story indeed and while the family seeks justice, the question remains of when a crime such as this occurs, where is all of the outrage? There have been no protests, riots, or looting to have taken place up to this point. Also, MIA so far are any national media attention personalities arriving on behalf of Jessica Chambers. Perhaps, they’re in route.

Anyone with information on the murder is urged to contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Office at 662-563-6230.

Update #1:

There are no official accounts of anyone in custody at this point, but social media accounts of the victim’s friends state they have had a suspect in custody. Other friends are alleging that police are waiting to make extra sure they have the right person before releasing his name.

ANM News is told that police do not have anyone in custody currently, but are following up with leads. To correct some earlier confusion, Jessica did not have a boyfriend according to her family. She got out of an abusive relationship with a man approximately two years ago. Sources tell ANM News that he no longer lives in the state of Mississippi.

We are still unclear as to the motives behind this gruesome murder, but one thing is certain, Jessica was loved by many.

Jessica’s mother Lisa Chambers tells ANM News, “My daughter did not see color. We loved her dearly and are just seeking justice regardless of skin color,” she said.

One thing to take from this case, unlike the death of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Jessica’s death seems to have been premeditated murder. We cannot confirm this at this time, but we will continue to update this story as an investigation proceeds.

There has been a Facebook page created by Jessica’s sister Amanda Prince, “Justice for Jessica“, which has received over 42,000 “Likes” to date. The page has received posts from around the country from friends, family members, and strangers who are all praying and seeking justice for Jessica.

According to an interview with KTSM, Amanda, a Fort Bliss (El Paso, Texas) Army wife will be heading home to Mississippi to be with family when her husband, who is on his way home from overseas arrives on Tuesday.

Update #2:

A gas station just one mile from the horrendous murder captured video footage of Jessica just hours before her death. The M & M Quick Stop is on Highway 51 in Courtland, Miss. showing Jessica Chambers walking toward the gas station before being called away by someone out of the camera’s view.

WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports


Update #3:

jessica-chambers-1-435As of Wednesday, Mississippi investigators still don’t know who killed 19-year-old Jessica Lane Chambers

Investigators are questioning several possible witnesses, reviewing Jessica’s cell phone data for clues and reviewing the video footage that shows her walking towards a gas station 90 minutes before first responders discovered her on fire about one mile from the M & M Quick Stop.

In the video footage, you’ll see a man wearing a striped shirt filling up a gas can before walking in the same direction as Jessica.

According toWISTV, the police cleared the man wearing the striped shirt.


PEOPLE reports: As the investigation continues, family members grieve.

“No one can believe this really happened to a child,” her father, Ben Chambers, tells PEOPLE. “She was burnt alive. This was cold-blooded murder. They have every person you can think of working on the case. They are checking all leads. It doesn’t matter how big or little.”

“She had her hands up,” says Chambers. “One of the paramedics took his coat off and placed it around her.”

Chambers says his ex-wife spoke to his daughter at 7:20 p.m., about two hours before she died.

“She told her mother she would be home soon but she first was going to stop and get something to eat and clean her car out. She told her mother, ‘I love you, Mama. I will see you in just a little while.’ ”

Right now, no arrests have been made in the case. People are being questioned, but investigators are not calling anyone a person of interest or a suspect in the case.

Update #4:


Nancy Grace has now picked up Jessica’s story.

It’s almost more than I can take in.



Update #5:

Video via NBC News:

The mother of the 19-year-old Mississippi woman burned alive and left for dead says her daughter won’t be at peace until her killer is caught. “She cannot rest,” mom Lisa Chambers told NBC affiliate WMC of her daughter, Jessica, a popular former cheerleader. “She knows who did this. She has told who did this.”

The Facebook page, “Justice for Jessica” created by Amanda Prince, Jessica’s older sister is approaching 100,000 “Likes”.

Update #6:

CNN reports:

After obtaining warrants and cracking a password, police were able to access Jessica Chambers’ phone records and are following up on leads, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Police are searching her data and text records after obtaining warrants Wednesday that compelled Google and her cell phone provider to give police access to her phone’s content, said John Champion, district attorney for Mississippi’s 17th Circuit.

The prosecutor on Thursday also updated information he had given CNN the previous day that indicated Chambers had attended a party but police couldn’t find anyone who had seen her there. Police have now spoken to witnesses who claim to have seen Chambers at the party, the prosecutor said.

Update #7:

John Champion, district attorney for Mississippi’s 17th Circuit, told CNN that Chambers had been able to speak to firefighters as they arrived on scene, but would say only that what she told them, “has certainly given us a lead we’re following up on.”

A gas station and convenience store where, according to surveillance video, Jessica Chambers visited before she was found severely burned along the side of a Mississippi road is pictured on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Courtland, Miss.

A gas station and convenience store where, according to surveillance video, Jessica Chambers visited before she was found severely burned along the side of a Mississippi road is pictured on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Courtland, Miss. (AP Photo)

Prosecutors say information from Jessica’s cell phone is providing some leads as to what may have happened to the her in the hours leading up to the attack on her.

Among the clues investigators are examining: surveillance video showing Chambers at a gas station, cellphone records from numerous people, unspecified evidence from her car and interviews with potential witnesses.

“There’s just not a lot of street talk out there about who may or may not have done this,”  Champion said at a news conference. “We feel like somebody out there has heard something.”

Anyone with information on the murder is urged to contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Office at 662-563-6230.

Update #8:

Clarion-Ledger reports:

Authorities have not made an arrest in the killing of Jessica Chambers.

“And we don’t anticipate one in the near future at this point,” Desoto County District Attorney John Champion said at a news conference Thursday.

No reliable forensic evidence and a lack of what Champion called “street talk” have caused investigators to lean on witness interviews. So far, those have not provided anything that would help develop a suspect, Champion said, adding that it’s impossible to formulate a motive without one.

A candlelight vigil is being held for Jessica on Saturday on the Courtland town square in Batesville, Miss. at 5 p.m.

Update #9:



  • A reward of $11,000 is now offered and that amount is expected to increase.
  • The U.S. Marshals Service has added $10,000 to the $1,000 crime stopper reward  being offered for information relating to the death of Jessica Chambers.

WMC Action News 5 reports:

Jessica Chambers was last seen on store surveillance video when she went to a convenience store near her Courtland home. The clerk, Ali Fadhel, said he was surprised she bought so much gas and joked with her. He said Chambers usually purchased $3 or $4.

“Like, wow, why you spending $14 in gas,'” said Fadhel.

He says Chambers told him she was going somewhere, but that he did not know where she was going. Fadhel also says Jessica never mentioned any problems to him and he says she probably would have.

WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee Anyone with information on the murder is urged to contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Office at 662-563-6230.  

  Update #10:

Saying goodbye to Jessica.

WREG reports:

Friends, family, and Panola County community members attended Jessica Chambers’ visitation Friday night, telling WREG they want anyone with information about her death to contact authorities.

Many of Jessica’s former classmates at South Panola High School attended the visitation. A group of them made t-shirts with her picture that they’re selling online to remember her.

Chambers’ funeral is Saturday at 2 p.m. at Wells Funeral Home in Batesville, Miss.


Update #11:

To say the last 24 hours of research has uncovered significant information would be the understatement of the year.

BREAKING STORY from The Conservative Treehouse.

There are reports that the gas station owner who has been on every news station commenting about when Jessica came into his store could possibly be connected to this heinous murder. His name is is Ali Alsanai, aka Basem Alsanai, a 19-year-old entrepreneur and owner of the M & M Quick Stop in Courtland, Miss.


This story seems to have taken a big turn and we may now know why people are not talking to law enforcement.

Again, read a breakdown on The Conservative Treehouse for more information on the connection between this 19-year-old gas station owner, the local law enforcement, and the increased activity of gangs in and around the Panola County area.



Courtesy of Justice for Jessica Facebook Page.

Jessica had two older brothers, two older sisters, and a younger sister. Allen Chambers, Jessica’s eldest brother, died in a car crash in May 2012.

There has been a GoFundMe page setup to help the family with expenses as they go through this very difficult time.

Here is Jessica’s obituary with details of arrangements.

Anyone with information on the murder is urged to contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Office at 662-563-6230.

* A correction and updates have been made to this story.

ANM News will continue to update this developing story.