Police Arrest Suspect in Case of High School Cheerleader Burned Alive

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Panola County, MS - An unthinkable crime in Mississippi may have finally been solved.

"It's hard for me to talk, to even think about it...to even breathe," Ben Chambers, the victim's father, revealed.

This father may find some peace now that investigators have arrested a suspect in his daughter's vicious murder.

It was 14 months ago that a popular high school cheerleader, 19-year-old Jessica Chambers, was burned alive.  She was discovered on the side of the road in her burning car in rural Mississippi.

Chambers' father said his daughter was burned on nearly every inch of her body, with her attacker even squirting flamable fluid down her throat and in her nose causing her to be burned from the inside.

Despite that, Chambers was still alive when she was found, though she died the next day at a hospital.

The mysterious murder in December 2014 left investigators scrambling for clues for well over a year.

Panola County District Attorney John Champion shared that "the big hurdle that we faced obviously was lack of information that we were getting from the streets which led us to focus back in on our belief that it was one person who had not said anything to anybody."

Turns out investigators say the last person seen with Chambers alive was Quinton Tellis, and now Tellis has been charged with capital murder.

The community remains in shock over the crime, even after the arrest.

"They hurt. Kinda everyone just down- they can't believe it happened and he did it," one local man observed, while pumping gas at the last place Chambers was seen on surveillance footage.  "Everyone is just waiting."

Chambers' mom remains numb. "This is just the beginning of Justice for Jessica, " Lisa Chambers remarked.

But healing for the family and community will certainly take a long time.


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