- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

COURTLAND, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi authorities have launched a homicide investigation into the death of a 19-year-old woman who was found badly burned on a road near her car that was on fire.

Jessica Chambers was doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire Saturday, said Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby.

Panola County Coroner Gracie Gulledge said the cause of death was thermal injuries. An autopsy was ordered, and Gulledge was hoping to get results late Tuesday. Authorities said initial autopsy results reveal Chambers died from burns that covered 98 percent of her body.

District Attorney John Champion said investigators were questioning several possible witnesses and reviewing Chambers’ cellphone data. The phone was found near the car.

Warren Strain, spokesman for the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, said Tuesday that law enforcement agencies were following leads in the case.

Chambers was flown to a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was declared dead.

Darby said detectives were working to learn who the woman may have been with before her death.

Her body was found by firefighters who were called to the scene by a passerby.


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