Emergency responders reach a back road in rural Courtland, Mississippi, to discover a horrific scene Dec. 6, 2014. Jessica Chambers, 19, was found near her incinerated car with burns covering 98 percent of her body. Authorities arrived just in time to hear Chambers mumble a few words regarding the alleged attack.
Chambers’ death remains unsolved, but it has not been forgotten. Despite a large reward and national public discourse across social media, the investigation has produced little closure for the small community of Courtland, population 512.
While this ongoing journalism project takes a look at the Courtland case, it is not solely about the alleged crime that took place there. With Unsolved, journalists at The Meek School of School of Journalism and New Media will take a look at crime in Mississippi and America, examining how it’s covered, how it has changed, the methods used in solving it, and what we can learn to be better investigators and conveyors of the truth.