From USA Today
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 20-year-old black woman said she was set on fire by three men who wrote the initials KKK and a racial slur on her car in northeastern Louisiana, police said Monday.
Officers found Sharmeka Moffitt with burns on more than half of her body when they responded to her 911 call Sunday night, said Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Lt. Julie Lewis.
The FBI is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, but no arrests had been made as of late Monday, Lewis said. She said Moffitt was in critical condition at a hospital and that some of her injuries were third-degree burns.
Moffitt told police the men doused her in a flammable liquid and set her on fire at a park in Winnsboro, a town in Franklin Parish. Lewis said she extinguished the fire using water from a spigot before a police officer arrived.
Officers found the letters KKK — an apparent reference to the Ku Klux Klan — and a racial slur smeared in a paste-like substance on the hood of her car, Lewis said.
On the 911 call, Moffitt described her attackers as three men wearing white hoods or hats, Lewis said. She later told a Winnsboro Police officer who responded to the call that the men were wearing white hoodies. She was unable to say what race her attackers were. The officer found no suspects or vehicles at Civitan Park where the attack allegedly happened, and the park has no surveillance cameras, Lewis said. She said the state crime lab was analyzing several pieces of evidence.
As of yesterday (10-23/12) Winnsboro Police now believe that the wounds on Moffitt’s body were self-inflicted.
Two days after multiple law enforcement agencies began an investigation into the attack and burning of a Winnsboro woman at Civitan Park, authorities now believe the wounds were self-inflicted.
According to Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas, evidenced gathered at the scene of the incident shows 20-year-old Sharmeka Moffitt’s initial claims that she was attacked and set on fire turned out to be false claims made up by Moffitt.
“This is a case in which the investigators had to pursue the facts that were presented,” Thomas said. “It’s been a very disturbing case for everyone involved.”