Police: Black Woman Lied About KKK Setting Her On Fire
WINNSBORO, La. (AP) - Forensic evidence indicates
that a 20-year woman suffering from extensive burns set herself on fire
then invented a story about being doused in flammable liquid by three
men who she said also wrote the initials KKK and a racial slur on her
car, state police said Tuesday.
On Sunday at 8 p.m., Sharmeka Moffitt called 911 from a walking trail
in Winnsboro and told authorities she had been doused in flammable
liquid by three men wearing white hoodies. She suffered extensive burns
on more than half her body and was taken to LSU Health Sciences Center
in Shreveport for treatment.
After two days of investigating the case, authorities said Tuesday
that the forensic evidence indicates Moffitt set herself on fire.
"The evidence does not support the statement that she was attacked by
three males," said Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Lt. Julie Lewis.
Lewis said Moffitt's fingerprints were found on a lighter and lighter
fluid recovered from the scene. Investigators also believe Moffitt used
toothpaste to draw the KKK initials and racial slur on her vehicle. DNA
evidence also points to Moffitt, she said.
Investigators have not been able to interview Moffitt because she
remains in critical condition. Without speaking to her, it remains
unclear why she might set herself on fire, Lewis said.
Police are handing the case over to the Franklin Parish District
Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to file charges against
Moffitt, she said.
"I feel a hurt for the victim," Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas told a news conference Tuesday.
"Nobody knows, it could be you, it could be me, it could be one of
our family members struggling like this," added Franklin Parish Sheriff
Several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, began looking into the alleged attack as a possible hate crime.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:25 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:25:07 GMT
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