Burned Teen Case Still a Mystery


Two months after the death of Courtland teenager Jessica Chambers, Lisa Daugherty, mother of Chambers, is now urging prospective sources to come forward and share information that could lead to the murderer’s arrest.

Daugherty reported to The Clarion-Ledger on Feb. 11 that only a few people have provided potentially helpful information about the case.

On Dec. 9, 19-year-old Chambers was found on the side of Herron Road in Courtland with burns covering most of her body. She died in the hospital only hours later, her mother noting that she stayed alive long enough to know that her parents were with her.

When asked to comment on the teen’s murder, Courtland and Batesville residents expressed hesitation to discuss the issue for fear of having their identities revealed to the killer.

I believe people around here know more about what’s going on than what they say,” an anonymous store clerk said. “The police say they’re getting warm, but it’s a cold case. They’re not going to find whoever did this.

Another anonymous source said he or she believe that the murderer is still in town, and that he or she could be right under authorities’ noses.

Various workers in Batesville noted that the death could be the result of white supremacy activity due to Chambers having dated black individuals in the past three years.

Even Daugherty said that residents are too afraid to provide more information that could help authorities with the case, according to USA Today. She said more people may be willing to talk if they were offered more protection by the police.

Hearsay continued to spread in Panola County. This month, Ali Alansai, a store clerk who was reportedly one of the last people to speak to Chambers on the night of her death, was forced to leave town due to receiving death threats after being quoted in various articles.

Other news outlets have reported that Alansai has not revealed his current location for personal safety reasons.

A flier posted at the scene of the assault reads that the state fire marshall is providing awards of up to $5,000 to anyone willing to come forward with information leading to the arrest and arson conviction of the person responsible for the teen’s murder.

Those with potentially helpful information are encouraged to call 601.359.1061 to reach the state fire marshall’s office. Callers may choose to remain anonymous.

Additionally, Panola County authorities are offering a $54,000 reward to persons who can give them leads to the murderer’s arrest. The Panola County Sheriff’s Department is handling the case at large, and its contact is (662) 563-6230.

On Jan. 31, a candlelight vigil was held at a church in Sardis, Mississippi, to honor the teen’s birthday and memory. A temporary memorial has been erected at the site of Chambers assault on Herron Road. The memorial includes bouquets, cards, stuffed animals and notes wishing Chambers a happy birthday. Chambers would have been 20 years old Feb. 2.