WINNSBORO (The News Star) - Evidence has revealed that Sharmeka Moffitt, the 20-year-old Winnsboro resident who reported being attacked and burned Sunday night at a local park by three men who wrote "KKK" on the hood of her car, fabricated the story, police said.
During a Tuesday afternoon news conference at the Franklin Parish Courthouse, Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb said all forensic evidence pointed toward Moffitt concocting the story and setting herself on fire.
"Basically we had to follow the facts," Cobb said. "This was a disturbing case for all involved. All indications show this was a self-inflicted situation."
Moffitt told police she was walking on a park trail Sunday night when she was attacked and set afire by three men wearing white T-shirt hoodies. Moffitt, who is black, told police she couldn't identify the race of those she claimed had attacked her. She called 911 from the park around 8 p.m.
She remains at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport in critical condition.
Police now believe it was Moffitt who wrote "KKK" and "nigger" on the hood of her Buick LaCrosse with toothpaste and then set fire to herself.
Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Martin said investigators found Moffitt's fingerprints on the cigarette lighter and the lighter fluid bottle, which was confirmed by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.
He said DNA evidence also indicated that Moffitt was the one who wrote on her car.
No motive has been revealed at this time, Martin said.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be transferred to the 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office and it will be up to prosecutors to decide if charges are taken up against Moffitt, Martin said.
Martin said Moffitt and her family still deserve the community's prayers.
"This is a tragic situation," Martin said.
The investigation was handled by the Franklin Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana Fire Marshal and the FBI.