UPDATE: Police now believe the attack on Sharmeka Moffitt was a fabrication. DNA evidence suggests the 20-year-old Louisiana woman set fire to herself and likely wrote “KKK” and the N-word on her car herself, using toothpaste.
“Our family is devastated to learn the circumstances surrounding our daughter’s injuries,” wrote Moffitt’s family in a statement. “While this was not the resolution we had expected, it is a resolution, and we appreciate the thorough investigation by the local and state police as well as federal agencies.
“We are sincerely sorry for any problems this may have caused and wish to express our appreciation for the outpouring of love, prayers and support we have received from friends, acquaintances, church organizations and government officials.”
Over the weekend, three unknown attackers cornered Sharmeka Moffitt, set her on fire and then scrawled racial slurs on her car, Winnsboro, Louisiana, police confirmed Monday.
Winnsboro Police Chief Kevin Cobb said the FBI was investigating whether the incident was a hate crime. Authorities were reluctant classify the attack as “racially motivated,” although the spray-painted “KKK” should be a dead giveaway.
Still, police say, Moffitt was unable to determine the skin color of her attackers.
It’s “a horrific event,” Cobb told the News Star. “We will follow the facts and seek justice.”
Joining forces in the investigation are the Franklin Parish Sheriff, Louisiana State Police and the state fire Marshall’s office, reports local news station KNOE.
It’ll be a long road to recovery for Moffitt, who, amazingly, survived the attack. A family friend told reporters Moffitt, just 20 years old, had burns on 90 percent of her body and was currently in stable condition.
But the support is pouring in. By Monday afternoon, a Facebook group called Prayers for Sharmeka Moffitt had nearly 10,000 likes.