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La. State Police Say Winnsboro Woman Made Up Attack In The Park

Shermika Moffitt
(Photo of Shermika Moffitt courtesy of News Partner KATC)

Authorities say 20-year-old Sharmeka Moffitt, in critical condition with burns over much of her body, made up her story of being set on fire by a group of men in hoodies.

State Police Troop F spokesman Albert Paxton says preliminary forensic evidence gathered in the case leads to a more disturbing conclusion:

Everything indicates that the victim made up the attack. She wasn’t attacked. Only her fingerprints were found at the scene. They were found on a cigarette lighter.

Paxton says only 20-year-old Shermika Moffitt’s DNA was not only found on the cigarette lighter, but on the charcoal fluid used to set her on fire Sunday. He says they also believe that Moffitt herself wrote “KKK” and a racial slur on her own vehicle with toothpaste:

The investigation is still ongoing. I haven’t been able to speak to her so I don’t know a motive.

Some people, in an apparent race to judgment, have even made this case about race and the election. Numerous tweets were sent out calling the attackers “KKK Romney supporter(s)”.

In a written statement, Moffitt’s family say they’re devastated to learn the circumstances surrounding her injuries. They apologize for what problems she may have caused.

There was a candlelight vigil for Moffitt Tuesday night. Many people there expressed disbelief over the fact that she apparently set herself on fire. “Why would someone want to burn themselves,” said one woman. But there was apparent relief felt too. “Now, I can relax. I won’t be afraid,” said another woman in the community.

Trooper Paxton says the main concern is not with Moffitt’s guilt or innocence, but with her recovery from her injuries:

She’s still in very critical condition right now and the sheriff and the chief wanted everyone to pray for her. Pray for her mom because they are going through a difficult time right now.

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