Courtland, MS

Teen Found Set On Fire Next To Her Car

Still Unsolved
Jessica ChambersPhoto by(Jeff Truesdell/People)

One day in December — 8 years ago — a family would be faced with a tragedy. On December 6, 2014, 19-year-old Jessica Chambers was found burning after being set on fire. She was found next to her vehicle which was also set ablaze. Someone had poured a highly flammable liquid up her nose, down her throat, and all over her body. The horrifying ordeal occurred at around 8:10 pm that night. 

Jessica Chambers would die in the hospital the next morning. 

Once the fire was put out, the police were able to start processing the crime scene and conduct their investigation. A search of the area was conducted, and Jessica’s car keys were found alongside a road nearby. After looking through her phone, they were able to determine that she spent the morning hanging out with two of her friends. Afterward, she went to her mother’s house to take a nap. At around 5:30 pm, she went to a gas station not too far from where her body would be found. That was the last time that anyone had seen her alive.

Using the GPS on her phone, investigators were able to see that she went to Batesville, Mississippi close to 6:00 pm that night. The reason for her going there is still unknown to this day. Then, she returned back to Courtland a half hour later. By 7:30 pm, she was in the area where she would meet her tragic end. The police were having a hard time finding suspects in this case.

Years later, however, they would find a connection. 

A man named Quinton Tellis was indicted for the murder of Jessica Chambers in February 2016. The police found text and phone records that showed that Tellis and Chambers had been together for the majority of the day she was murdered. Tellis had also been arrested a year earlier for the murder of another woman. Tellis also deleted every text message he had with Jessica that day — which the police were able to recover. The text messages showed that he repeatedly tried to have sex with her and was met with denial repeatedly. The police believe that — the last time he was denied — he reacted with violence. He then set her and her car on fire to try and destroy any evidence. 

Both of the times the case went to court ended in a mistrial. The prosecution is still deciding whether or not to try for the 3rd time.

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