Police say La. woman set herself afire

Oct. 24, 2012 at 4:20 PM
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WINNSBORO, La., Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A candlelight vigil was held for a severely burned Louisiana woman, hours after investigators determined she deliberately set herself on fire.

The prayer vigil by nearly 130 friends and neighbors of Sharmeka Moffitt, 20, of Winnsboro, who suffered burns to 60 percent of her body and remained in critical condition in LSU Hospital in Baton Rouge, came after the Franklin Parish Sheriff's Office determined it was Moffitt herself, and not three alleged assailants, who burned her, the Shreveport Times reported Wednesday.

"This has been a very disturbing case for all involved. All the evidence indicates this was a self-inflicted situation," Sheriff Kevin Cobb said.

The attackers allegedly burned Moffitt and wrote "KKK" and other racist remarks on her car in a paste-like substance, but her DNA and fingerprints were found on a lighter and container of lighter fluid, the newspaper said.

Moffitt's family released a statement Tuesday, apologizing for her actions and thanking law enforcement for its work in the case, expressing its "appreciation for the outpouring of love, prayers and support."

The Franklin Parish District Attorney's Office will determine if Moffitt will face criminal charges.

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