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Posted: December 12, 2014

Arrest made in connection with fake fundraising page for girl who was set on fire

By Lynnanne Nguyen

WHBQ-TV - Memphis

COURTLAND, Miss. —

UPDATE: A Mississippi woman has been arrested in connection with a fake Facebook page set up to raise money for the #JusticeForJessica campaign.  Janet Posey, 39, was arrested on one count attempted false pretense and one count communications fraud.  If convicted, she faces up to 15 years behind bars. Read the original story below.

Support has been pouring in from all over the country as Jessica Chambers' story makes national headlines.

Five days after her tragic death family and friends are warning their supporters to beware of scammers. At least one fake donation account has popped up online.

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Jessica's friends say they are shocked anyone would take advantage of this tragedy. The fake account has since been taken down and the family is now asking all donations be sent to the Renasant Bank (P.O. Box 1525 in Batesville, Miss., 38606 to an account set up by the Panola County Sheriff's Department under her name.

"It's hard to put into words the disgust you have for someone who would take advantage of a family like this," said Chris Wells, funeral director for Wells Funeral Home.

As support for 19-year-old's family pours in from all over the country those close to Jessica are finding not all of them have good intentions.

"The family has found some of these accounts on Facebook and other social media sites," Wells said. "Some of them have found to be fraudulent. It is sad people take advantage of situations like this but that's the reason this account has been set up so the family will know exactly where the funds come from and go."

But the fake accounts aren't harming real efforts to help Jessica and her family. Family friends Miranda and Mark Brown are planning a benefit for Jessica Friday evening at theBackwoods Bar and Grill.

"I think it said 500 something people coming on Facebook, so we're hoping to have it packed," the Browns said.

Local bands and disc jockeys are stepping up and donating their pay and more in Jessica's name.

"It makes you feel good as a community, but there are no words," Miranda Brown said. "It's awful but it's good that everyone as a community is coming together for Jessica."

There are hopes the funds will help the family and get someone to come forward.

"Anything they need, whoever did it, if someone knows something, they need to tell us," Miranda said. "It's awful."

Donations can be sent "In memory of Jessica Chambers" to the Renasant Bank, P.O. Box 1525 in Batesville, Miss., 38606. You can also send flowers or cards through the Wells Funeral Home in Batesville.


"This community, I don't know why they are not talking," said Lisa Chambers, Jessica's mother who called for someone to speak up. "But somebody knows something. I know they know. 

Her last words could point to her killer but investigators said Thursday to don't expect an arrest anytime soon in Jessica's murder. 

You could see it in investigators faces starting late Wednesday night they look tired and forlorn. Answers in this case are not coming easy.

"We are currently following up on leads in this case," said District Attorney John Champion. "There have been no arrests made at this point nor do I expect any in the immediate future."

With DA Champion's announcement, he also said this case has been unusually quiet with very little talk on the streets.

"You know, in all the years I have been doing this it's rare that we don"t have a lot of street talk about who did this to lead us to where we are," DA Champion said.

She praised investigators for the long hours they have worked and cried out for her daughter.

"I need my baby and I need her killer behind bars," the mother said.

Many Courtland residents calling for justice and some are questioning why no one has come forth with any answers.

Investigators say Courtland is a small community rocked by the horrific crime, and they hope people who've been quiet so far will come forward.

Someone doused the 19-year-old with a flammable liquid and set her on fire the evening of Dec. 5. She later died at the Regional One Medical Center's burn unit in Memphis.

Her last words to a firefighter who found her on the side of the road could point to her killer, but investigators have not released that information yet. They say they don't expect any arrests in the near future but are following up on every tip.

Ali Asanai, an employee at the M&M Quick Stop, where Jessica was last seen on surveillance video a few hours before she died, saw Jessica just about every day. He says he just doesn't understand it.

"I mean, whoever did this should face the death penalty," Asanai said. "I believe what happened was really crazy, you know? The way it happened we were shocked. She was friends with everybody. Sweet to everybody. I believe whoever did this he probably was on cocaine because we had no problem with her."

Jessica Chambers' official autopsy is set to be complete Friday but it won't be released to the public. If you have any information in this case you are asked to call Panola County CrimeStoppers at 1-800-729-2169.

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