A dying young woman's last words to firefighters may help solve her killing. Mississippi authorities are looking for evidence and witnesses in the burning death Saturday night of Panola County 19-year-old Jessica Chambers. The county sheriff’s office and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are joining forces to solve what they have labeled a homicide, WVLT Knoxville reported Tuesday.
Police are attempting to access information from a cell phone recovered from the scene as well as to obtain phone records, WVLT reported.
Chambers’ mother, Lisa Chambers, has said that her daughter told her at about 6:48 p.m. Saturday that she was going out to get food. Later that night, she was found alive but severely burned near her charred car, authorities told Fox News. She was taken to Regional Medical Center at Memphis, where she died Saturday, according to WVLT.
The crime has shocked the tight-knit Southern community where Chambers lived. She was a cheerleader and softball player. Her best friend, Alyssa Cotten, told Fox News that she was “just a big bundle of joy.”
Police have not released details of how Chambers was killed. But her father, Ben Chambers, spoke to WLBT-TV Jackson. He told the station that his daughter was still alive when firefighters arrived and that she told them who attacked her. He said her body was unrecognizable.
"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,” Chambers said. The killer or killers "squirted lighter fluid down her throat and in her nose, and apparently they knocked her out," he said. "She had a big gash on top of her head.
"I love her, you know, I'm so sorry Daddy wasn't there for her," he told WLBT. "I'd trade places with her in a minute if I could."
"They have ripped everything I have," Lisa Chambers told WMC-TV Memphis. "She left to go clean out her car and was going to get her[self] something to eat."
Jessica's mother hopes that the killer or killers will be found and held accountable. "God's punishment is going to be far more worse than anything we can do," she said, according to WVLT.