WINNSBORO, LA (KSLA) - Authorities say Sharmeka Moffitt, a 20-year-old who told police she had been attacked and set on fire in a Winnsboro, Louisiana city park made it all up.
Moffitt remains in critical condition Tuesday night in the regional burn center at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport where she is believed to have undergone surgery.
Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas tells KSLA News 12 that Moffitt did not confess to setting herself on fire.
Authorities say they linked Moffitt's fingerprints to a lighter and bottle of lighter fluid found at the scene.
Many Winnsboro residents went to hear Tuesday's announcement out of concern for their community.
Some left outraged and upset after they heard what investigators discovered.
"What about the fear of the other families that were scared? I mean, what about those people?" says one resident.
Thomas responds, "That's one thing that law enforcement cannot control, what's being said in the community. We only work the crime scene itself."
But the resident continues: "What can we do as a public to not let this happen, because now you're saying that you're just going to let the charges go. My wife was scared for two days to even go to work. She works in a dangerous job."
Thomas: "That was not said. We said that the charges would be transferred to the district attorney's office."
Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb says, "The victim in this case, although indications show this is a self-inflicted situation, I think we still as a community, as we were when we felt it was an attack situation, our community was coming together, coming to support her and from all sides. We should continue to do that."