Phone May Be 'Key' to Case of Teen Burned Alive

Jessica Chambers got call before she died, phone may be 'key to everything'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2014 7:57 AM CST
Phone May Be 'Key' to Case of Teen Burned Alive
This undated photograph released by the families of Jessica Chambers and her sister Amanda Prince shows Jessica Chambers taken in Courtland, Miss.   (AP Photo/Chambers-Prince Families)

The investigation into the burning death of Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers is in full swing. Sheriff's deputies with canine units have been spotted picking up items and bagging them in the Courtland area where police first encountered Chambers (who, CNN notes, was not on fire when they found her on Saturday night, as has been widely reported). But the clue that could crack the case may already be in authorities' hands: Chambers' cellphone, CNN reports. Police say the 19-year-old received a call before she left her house that evening and that the phone may be "the key to everything," according to John Champion, the district attorney for Mississippi's 17th Circuit. Police obtained warrants Wednesday to retrieve records from Google and Chambers' cellphone provider, then circumvented a password and started poring over her texts and data.

Police have also been talking to "many, many people," including those who say they were at a party with Chambers, and Champion confirms Chambers herself spoke to one of the firefighters who found her, though he didn't reveal what she said. He simply tells CNN, "It has certainly given us a lead we're following up on." Surveillance video captures Chambers at a gas station shortly before the incident; she was a regular there, and the clerk says he did find it odd that she bought $14 worth of gas, rather than her usual $5. "I asked her about it, and she said she was going somewhere," he said. "She was quiet that day, real quiet." Police are imploring the public to help, and a "Justice for Jessica" Facebook page and #JessicaChambers Twitter hashtag have emerged to get the case in the public eye, reports. More on the case here. (More Jessica Chambers stories.)

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