Sharmeka Moffitt (pictured), 20, the Louisiana woman who alleged that she was attacked and set on fire by men wearing “white hoodies,” lied about the incident according to police investigators, reports the Franklin Sun.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Moffitt was walking in a park at around 8 p.m. when she claimed the incident occurred. Because of initial reports, speculation was rampant on social media that it was hate crime committed by the Ku Klux Klan because Moffitt was wearing a shirt in support of President Barack Obama.
After analyzing the evidence at the State Police Crime Lab, it was discovered Moffitt’s fingerprints were on the cigarette lighter and the lighter fluid recovered near the wooded area around the crime scene.
“There is more physical evidence along those lines that back this up,” Thomas said.
At a news conference held at LSU Medical Center on Monday evening, Moffitt’s mother, Edna Moffitt said her daughter was in critical condition with third-degree burns on her arms and other areas and would undergo surgery Tuesday.
False rumors regarding the incident were spread on various social media outlets Sunday night just hours after the incident took place. On many of the Twitter and Facebook posts, users speculated the attack was a hate crime and Moffitt was attacked for wearing a President Obama t-shirt when she was “raped and burned alive”.
Moffitt’s mother and Thomas confirmed Monday that the Obama T-shirt rumor was false and there was no evidence of sexual assault.
A racial slur and the letters, KKK, that were written in toothpaste on Moffitt’s vehicle were linked to female DNA, authorities said.
“All of the evidence is pointing back to the victim inflicting this upon herself,” Thomas said. “No evidence has shown any other person was involved.”
“This case is solved,” Thomas added.
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The small town of Winnsboro, LA was thrust into chaos in the wake of the incident, and candlelight vigils were held for the “victim” as fears about a resurgence of hate crimes shook the area.
Franklin Parish Sheriff, Kevin Cobb, said that the town has remained united through the incident and they need to remain supportive:
“I want to thank the community, who under these stressful times they allowed law enforcement to do their job to seek information, collect evidence and follow the facts,” Cobb said. “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.”
No charges have been filed against Moffitt. The Sun reports that the case has been turned over to the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
In a state with a history of unspeakable acts of violence against Black citizens, Moffitt’s claims were especially dangerous. Hopefully, the band-aid she has ripped off the racial tension in the town of Winnsboro does not cause any more conflict.