Sharmeka Moffitt (Photo Credit: Facebook)
The case surrounding 20-year-old Sharmeka Moffitt turned even more bizarre on Tuesday, with police announcing that they believe the young woman set herself on fire.
Yesterday, TheBlaze initially reported that Moffitt was in critical condition after claiming that she was set ablaze in a racially-motivated attack by three men in sweatshirts. But the story has now turned from a hate crime into a scenario in which police believe that she inflicted harm upon herself.
Authorities say that evidence corroborates the notion that Moffitt fabricated the story about being attacked and burned in a New Orleans park on Sunday evening. During a press conference, Franklin Parish Sherrif Kevin Cobb told reporters that forensic clues paint a horrific tale -- one in which Moffitt gravely harmed her body using a bottle of lighter fluid and a lighter. Her fingerprints appeared on both items, which were found at the scene.
"This was a disturbing case for all involved. All indications show this was a self-inflicted situation," Cobb said.
Moffitt is currently in critical condition and purportedly went in for major surgery on Tuesday. In addition to potentially falsifying the attack itself and inflicting grave injuries if authorities are right about their suspicions, then it was also Moffitt who wrote "KKK" on the hood of her car.
The woman's family -- members of which were initially supportive of her story -- has released a statement about the most recent developments. It reads:
"Our family is devastated to learn the circumstances surrounding our daughter’s injuries. 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 coming days and weeks, our focus will be on Sharmeka and her recovery. We ask that you continue to pray for her and for our family, and that you respect our privacy at this difficult time."
Police Chief Lester Martin added that the situation is "tragic" and encouraged the community to still offer support and prayers for the woman's family.