The story of Sharmeka Moffitt, the 20-year-old from Winnsboro, Louisiana, who was allegedly set on fire by three hood-wearing men in a racially motivated attack, took a bizarre turn this afternoon after police announced at a press conference that they now believe she injured herself.
Moffitt suffered severe burns and remains at LSU Medical Center, where she is listed in critical condition.
According to Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas, Moffitt confessed to setting herself on fire just after scrawling the words "KKK" and "nigger" on the hood of her Buick LaCross with toothpaste. Additionally, the State Police Crime Lab matched Moffitt's fingerprints and DNA to a cigarette lighter found at the scene.
Moffitt's motive remains unclear.
"Our family is devastated to learn the circumstances surrounding our daughter's injuries," the young woman's family said 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."
A Facebook page used as a hub of support for Moffitt had over 50,000 likes at the time of writing.
[photo via Facebook]