After 100 Interviews, No Main Suspect in Burning Death

FBI adds $25K to Jessica Chambers reward
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2015 6:14 AM CST
This undated photograph taken in Courtland, Miss., and released by the families of Jessica Chambers and her sister Amanda Prince shows Jessica Chambers.   (AP Photo/Chambers-Prince Famili, File)
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(Newser) – Authorities have interviewed more than 100 potential witnesses in the December burning death of Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers, yet they still don't have a prime suspect. They also say "talk on the street" about the case has been quieter than usual, hampering the investigation. So the FBI has added $25,000 to the reward amount, which now totals $43,000, the Clarion-Ledger reports. "A lot of things in this world are money-driven, and we're hoping that there's someone out there that [knows] something that sees the reward and is willing to come forward," says the Panola County DA. He adds that there are no updates in the 19-year-old's murder, WREG reports.

Chambers reportedly told first responders the name of her attacker before she died, but no leads connected to what she said have yielded any information. And, while some speculation has centered around the idea of a gang-related crime, Chambers' father—who works for the sheriff's department but is not part of this investigation—says he was contacted by someone who claimed to be a high-ranking area gang member. That person told him the gangs are "very upset about it," Ben Chambers says. "They said you wouldn't even do a dog like that." Authorities are currently interviewing and re-interviewing people, the DA says; local officials are collaborating with a lengthy list of agencies that includes the FBI, state Bureau of Investigation, US Attorney's Office, ATF, US Marshals, and State Fire Marshal's Office.

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