Friends gather to mourn Jessica 12/16/2014

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Friends gather to mourn Jessica

“This incredible act of man’s inhumanity to man is why my dominant civil libertarian inclination is only 95 percent against the death penalty.”

—Ray Mosby, publisher of the Deer Creek Pilot and award winning newspaper columnist on learning of Jessica Chambers’ death.

By Rupert Howell
“Be at peace with her, (Jessica) and her relationship with the Lord,” Minister Larry Kilgore told those gathered at Wells Funeral Home for memorial services for Jessica Chambers Saturday afternoon.

Chambers had been brutally murdered a week prior when she and her car had been set on fire in a sparsely settled area of the county on Herron Road near Courtland.

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“We can’t say Jessica made every decision right. She made some bad choices in life, (but she)—made some good ones, too,” he said likening her situation to that of King David, whom he noted was a man after God’s own heart but who also made some of the worst choices a person could make.

Pastor Kilgore said he  had previously visited with the 19-year-old murder victim whom he met, “about a year ago.”

Hestated there were a lot of questions about Jessica and what went on and about her death but assured family and friends gathered, “The relationship (with God) is not broken,” later adding, “You need to leave her and her relationship with the Lord in God’s hands.”

Pastor Matt Hill told a crowd of approximately 250 gathered at a candlelight vigil on the Batesville Square at dusk that same evening, “May we be reminded that justice will not come from our lips or our status, but justice comes from God and God alone.”

“We hope that they are found and they come to repent for the evil they’ve done,” Hill stated during his prayer at the vigil when balloons were set aloft and candles were lit in memory of Jessica.

The group sang “Amazing Grace,” followed by tears and hugs as a long week since the murder came to a close.

Reporters from several news agencies have been present during the week and Memphis television reporters and news trucks have made almost daily visits to the area hoping to uncover new information and record the latest news on the investigation.

District Attorney John Champion and Panola Sheriff Dennis Darby have taken the brunt of questioning while investigators from Darby’s agency, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Marshal’s Service and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearm huddle behind the scenes trying to solve the mystery of who killed Jessica.

Monday reports stated the FBI had joined the investigation.

The reward for information leading to the perpetrators has risen to $11,000 and investigating agencies are pleading for those with any information to come forward.
(Since this story was published the reward has risen to $21,000)

Meanwhile social media is awash with theorists who have ‘solved’ the mystery from afar, accusing everyone from law enforcement, family members, a store owner, gang members and firemen of being involved in the crime.