Jessica Chambers was found on a back road on Dec. 6, 2014, in the small Mississippi community of Courtland, population 500. The 19-year-old Chambers was doused with flammable liquid and lit on fire while she was still alive. Now, over a year later, authorities believe they have finally found her killer.
Writes People.com on Feb. 24: “Mississippi authorities believe that they’ve found the person responsible for the brutal murder of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers, who was found burned alive in her car on December 6, 2014. Quinton Tellis, a 27-year-old Louisiana man, was indicted on capital murder charges on Tuesday.”
When authorities arrived on the scene, Jessica, who was still burning but walking, reportedly uttered a few words before she was airlifted to the hospital, where she later died from severe scorching that covered nearly every inch of her body. Those words have never been revealed, but Jessica’s parents believe she named her killer – and that the killer is Quinton Tellis, a man Jessica has a brief relationship with.
“They squirted lighter fluid down her throat and in her nose, and apparently they knocked her out,” her father, Ben Chambers, said at the time of the homicide. “She had a big gash on top of her head. When the fire department got there, she was walking down the road on fire… only part of her body that wasn’t burned was the bottom of her feet, Chambers said, according to Fox News. “She told them, she told them, told him who done it.”
Tellis, who has been indicted on capital murder charges for the death of Jessica Chambers, is currently being held at the Ouachita Parish Jail in Monroe, La. on suspicions of his involvement in the 2015 killing of a University of Louisiana Monroe student, who was found stabbed to death. Meing-Chen Hsiao, 34, of Taiwan, was found dead in her apartment. Authorities said Tellis admitted to using her debit card after she has been killed.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Tellis, who has previously served time for residential burglary and fleeing from law enforcement, has not yet been formally charged with Hsiao’s murder. Tellis admitted to using the debit card – first to “test” the card’s security with a withdrawal of .07 cents, and then later to make two $500 withdrawals.
“During a search at his house, authorities found a quarter pound of marijuana in a bedroom. The report says the drugs were packaged for sale,” the Ledger reports. He has also faced charges of simple assault and domestic violence.
Speaking of Tellis, Desoto County District Attorney John Champion said, “We knew he was the last person [Jessica] was with… He is what we call a habitual offender.” Champion spoke of the timeline surrounding Chambers’ murder.
“We found out he was in Louisiana in jail down there and one thing led to another, and he kept lying to us, and every time we’d bust his lies, he’d change his story, and he basically put himself with Jessica until 7:26,” he said. “We know she was on the scene until 7:31. So the chances of her being with somebody else for 4 minutes just doesn’t make sense.”
A Justice for Jessica Facebook page was set up shortly after death of Jessica Chambers.