Investigators are hoping Jessica Chambers’ final words will lead them to the killer or killers who burned the 19-year-old teenager alive in a gruesome murder Saturday that has stunned the small Mississippi community of Courtland.
Chambers, of Panola County, was found badly burned on a road near her burning car Saturday night in what authorities have labeled a homicide.
“They have ripped everything I have,” the teen’s mother, Lisa Chambers, told Fox affiliate WDBD-TV. “She left to go clean out her car and was going to get [herself] something to eat.”
Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said the young woman died after she was doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire on a road in Courtland, Miss., a town with a population of 460 people.
When first responders arrived at the scene, Chambers reportedly uttered a few words that might lead detectives to her killer or killers. Police have not disclosed what Chambers said — or tried to say. No motive has been released.
“They squirted lighter fluid down her throat and in her nose, and apparently they knocked her out,” her father, Ben Chambers, told the station as he fought back tears. “She had a big gash on top of her head.”
“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,” said Chambers, an employee of the Panola Country Sheriff’s Department.
“She told them, she told them, told him who done it,” he said.
Chambers was flown to a hospital in Memphis but later died. Authorities said initial autopsy results reveal that Chambers died from severe burns that covered 98 percent of her body.
Darby said detectives are working to learn who the woman may have been with before her murder — examining her cellphone, which was left at the scene.
“She was the most beautiful and loving and kind girl I’ve ever known,” Chambers’ best friend, Alyssa Cotten, told FoxNews.com.
“She loved to cheer. She loved softball. She loved her family and her friends. She was just a big bundle of joy,” said Cotten, noting that she did not believe Chambers was dating anyone at the time she was killed.
“We have no idea who did this,” she said.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is assisting Panola authorities.
Anyone with information on the murder is urged to contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Office at 662-563-6230.
FoxNews.com’s Cristina Corbin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Out of respect for the memory of this poor, poor woman and her grieving family I will take care to exercise restraint in my commentary here. I want to know what sick, twisted mind does this to another human being? There is absolutely no justification that can be offered by the person (s) who did this. My heart goes out her parents and family and I want them to know I wept when I read about this horrid crime. My plea to all who read this post is that if you know anything that can help solve this case please, please call the police. Nothing like this should ever happen to anyone, the fact it has happened is proof there are monsters among us.