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Woman Charged in Scam After Jessica Chambers' Burning Death

A Mississippi woman was arrested on charges she set up a fraudulent fundraising donation page for Jessica Chambers, the teen burned to death Dec. 6.

A Mississippi woman has been arrested for allegedly trying to dupe donors following the horrific burning death of a 19-year-old woman nearly two weeks ago, authorities said.

Janet Posey, 39, of Blue Springs, was arrested by Union County Sheriff’s deputies at around 8 p.m. Wednesday and is charged with one count of attempted false pretense and one count of communications fraud, the sheriff’s office and state Attorney General Jim Hood said.

Posey allegedly set up a fraudulent online fundraising page purporting to raise money for Chambers’ family, but which really was a scam. No one took the bait and the page was shut down almost immediately, according to the attorney general's office.

"Family members and friends of the family brought their concerns about the site to our attention," Hood said in a statement.

Chambers was doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire on a back road in Panola County Dec. 6, and she later died at a Memphis hospital. On Thursday, District Attorney John Champion said investigators are continuing to try and find her killer but announced no breaks in the case. "We’re making significant progress," he told reporters. The FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting in the investigation.

A phone number for Posey could not be found. Investigators said a legitimate fundraising site was used, but wouldn't say which one. Friends of Chambers have set up a different GoFundMe page that has raised more than $19,000 for the family. A reward to find Chambers' killer has grown to $16,000, Champion said.


— Phil Helsel