No holiday for investigation into Chambers death

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 24, 2014

No holiday for investigation into Chambers death

By Rupert Howell
Investigators are still diligently working to find the murderer or murderers of Jessica Chambers but it’s a slow, methodical process as they eliminate possible suspects one by one, according to District Attorney John Champion, who said no new relevant developments have occurred on the case.

“We’re still awaiting some of the test results from various labs,” Champion said Monday morning as investigators entered their third week without a suspect.
Chambers and her vehicle were set afire in an uninhabited section of Herron Road near Courtland on the weekend of December 6-7. Responding firefighters found her still alive but she would later succumb, with a reported 98 percent of her body covered with burns.
A shocked community turned into a shocked region then nation as word spread of Jessica’s plight through social media and national news. Champion surmised that the nation seemed to take notice of the Panola County murder after becoming weary of constant news from incidents in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City and wanted something different on which to focus their attention.

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Champion said that although the reward for information leading to an arrest remained at $16,800, he expected that to grow in the next few days.

The case has been different from others involving murders, Champion said earlier, because there is little talk on the streets. The District Attorney last week said those  questioned were being helpful due to the seriousness of the crime.

Champion said last week investigators are not hearing the usual, “I ain’t telling you nothing,” phrases often heard from those being questioned.

“They are telling us what they know . . . (this crime) was so bad everybody is cooperating.”
Included in the investigation are: state agencies including Mississippi Crime Lab, MBI, State Coroner’s Office; federal agencies including the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, FBI and the U.S. Marshall’s Service; and local agencies including Panola County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Batesville PD.

Champion said Thursday that an investigator from the U.S. Attorney’s office had also been assigned to assist.