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Louisiana woman faked hate crime, police say

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:25 AM EDT, Wed October 24, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The woman was found in a park in Winnsboro, Louisiana
  • She suffered burns over 90% of her body and said she was set afire by three men
  • Police said evidence found in the park points to "a self-inflicted incident"

(CNN) -- A Louisiana woman who said she had been set afire by white supremacists inflicted her injuries herself, police said Tuesday.

Sharmeka Moffitt was found in a city park in Winnsboro, in rural northeastern Louisiana, on Sunday night with burns over 90% of her body. The 20-year-old told police she had been attacked and set ablaze by three men who wrote "KKK" on her car, but Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas said Tuesday afternoon that evidence found on a cigarette lighter and a bottle of charcoal lighter fluid showed "this was not an attack, but a self-inflicted incident."

Investigators released little else at a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

"This has been a very disturbing case for everyone involved," Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb said.

Moffitt was in critical but stable condition at a Shreveport hospital Tuesday night, Franklin Parish Sheriff's Deputy Bettye McCoy said.

CNN's John Fricke contributed to this report.

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