UPDATE: 6:19 p.m. -- Tuesday afternoon police reported that they now believe Louisiana woman Sharmeka Moffitt's story about being lit on fire in a race-related attack was fabricated. Police now believe that she wrote "KKK" and "n---er" on her car and lit herself on fire.
The Franklin Sun reports that Moffitt's fingerprints were found on the cigarette lighter and lighter fluid recovered in the wooded area near the crime scene. The writings on the car, written in toothpaste, were linked to female DNA.
Police Chief Lester Thomas said that regardless of the outcome, this tragic event is still a heavy burden, according to The Franklin Sun. Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb added: "Although I think what she did was wrong and had major consequences not only for her, but throughout our community and our country, there's something wrong here, and we need to help individuals like this. In the same way our community came to support her as a victim, I still hope the community will support her emotional and physical recovery."
Click here for the full update.
A Louisiana woman was the victim of a horrific attack during which she was reportedly set on fire and had her car defiled with the letters "KKK," police reported Monday.
Sharmeka Moffitt, a 20-year-old African-American woman, made an emergency call to police on Sunday night claiming three men wearing white hoods or hats attacked her, doused her with flammable liquid and set her on fire at a park in Winnsboro, La., CBS News reports. Moffitt, who said she was unable to identify the race of her attackers, was able to extinguish the fire with a water spigot before police arrived.
Officers found the letters "KKK," an apparent reference to the Ku Klux Klan, written on the hood of her car, according to CBS News. "KKK" was smeared on her hood in a paste-like substance.
Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb confirmed that "KKK" was written on the hood of Moffitt's car with a racial slur underneath, WMBF News reports.
Moffitt is currently in critical condition at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, according to the station. "Both of her arms, and they are third degree burns, down her chest and legs - one. Basically her arms are real bad," her mother, Edna, told the media. Edna also denied initial reports that claimed her daughter was wearing an Obama T-shirt at the time of the attack.
Police currently have no suspects or motives in the attack, which occurred while Moffitt was walking on a paved trail in Civitan Park on Sunday at about 8 p.m., according to The News Star. Authorities do not know if the attack was planned or random but called the racial connotations "unsettling."
“My hope is we’ll all stand together while we determine the facts,” Cobb told The News Star. “I’m asking the community to trust us to do the right thing."The attack on Moffitt caught the nation's attention after a Facebook page, entitled, "Prayers for Sharmeka Moffitt," was created. The page currently has more than 30,000 likes.