Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Martin announced yesterday that Sharmeka Moffitt's story of being set ablaze by members of the Ku Klux Klan was completely false. During a press conference, Martin stated that they had evidence suggesting Moffitt self-immolated, though the reason is still unknown.
Apparently her DNA was found on the can of lighter fluid and cigarette lighter used to self-immolate. Police also believe that Moffitt wrote the letters KKK on her car in order to detract attention from herself. She currently remains in the hospital in critical condition, with second and third degree burns on 60 percent of her body.
"Our family is devastated to learn the circumstances surrounding our daughter's injuries. While this was not the resolution we had expected, it's a resolution," her family told the press.
Yesterday her mother described the extent of her injuries as being on "both of her arms, and they are third degree burns, down her chest and legs-one. Basically, her arms are real bad," Edna Moffitt told KSLA News.
Police were originally investigating the ordeal as a possible hate crime, based on Moffitt's claim that she was approached by men in white hooded sweatshirts, or ball-caps, and then lit on fire. The FBI also got involved in the case, but that has ceased given the new information.
"This is a horrific event for our community," Sheriff Kevin Cobb said during yesterday's press conference. "It makes everyone uneasy. It is our hope that everyone stands together at this time and follow the information that is gathered, follow the facts, follow the evidence and hopefully that will lead us to justice in this case."
Unfortunately, that justice may come down on the victim, Moffitt. She could be charged with lying to police while still recovering from her injuries.