UPDATE: Police Say Alleged Racist Attack Is a Hoax

Authorities now believe Sharmeka Moffitt fabricated the story and caused her own severe injuries.

Posted: 10/23/2012 04:18 PM EDT

A Louisiana woman filed a claim with police stating that she was the victim of a racist attack on Sunday, but authorities are now saying they believe she fabricated the incident

On Tuesday, Sharmeka Moffitt confessed to having made it all up and not only set herself on fire, but also used toothpaste to write the slurs on the hood of her car. Her fingerprints and DNA were found on a cigarette lighter near the scene of the supposed crime.


"Our family is devastated to learn the circumstances surrounding our daughter's injuries," Moffitt's family said in a statement on a Facebook Page named Prayers for Sharmeka Moffitt. "While this was not the resolution we had expected, it is a resolution, and we appreciate the thorough investigation by the local and state police as well as federal agencies. We are sincerely sorry for any problems this may have caused and wish to express our appreciation for the outpouring of love, prayers and support we have received from friends, acquaintances, church organizations and government officials."

According to Moffitt's original story, three unidentifiable men wearing white hoodies doused the 20-year-old in flammable liquid and set her on fire in Civitan Park. It caused severe burns on more than half her body. They also spray painted "KKK" and the n-word on her car.

Authorities and the FBI were still looking into whether race played a role in the crime and the NAACP stepped in to urge police to investigate the possibility of it being a hate crime.

"We are shocked by the malicious actions of those involved and express best wishes to Sharmeka Moffitt and her family," stated NAACP Louisiana State Conference President Dr. Ernest L. Johnson Sr. "We urge authorities to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the nature of this brutal crime, and to determine whether it was a hate crime. The Louisiana NAACP State Conference will exhaust all remedies available to see that justice is done and that the criminals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

No word yet on what exactly caused Moffitt to injure herself. She is still in LSU Medical Center under critical condition.

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(Photo: Sharmeka Moffitt/Facebook)

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