VANCOUVER, WASH. - A woman who gained sympathy worldwide after she claimed a random assailant threw acid on her face came forward Thursday with a startling admission: She inflicted the damage on herself.
Vancouver police Chief Clifford Cook said Bethany Storro admitted under police questioning to fabricating a story about the attack, in which she suffered severe burns.
Cook said he did not know a motive for Storro’s actions, but added she is “very remorseful.” He said Storro was being interviewed by detectives.
“During the course of the investigation, several discrepancies began to emerge regarding the alleged attack,” leading police to search her home Thursday and interview her, Cook said.
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“During the interview, Ms. Storro admitted the injuries were self-inflicted,” he said.
Police had been seeking a black woman with a ponytail after Storro described the Aug. 30 attack.
Storro had said the woman asked her, “Hey, pretty girl, want something to drink?” then threw acid in her face.
She recounted details of the alleged attack at a news conference, with her head wrapped in bandages and her parents by her side. She said she wanted to know why the unnamed assailant had attacked her.
After the incident, Storro made several media appearances, but a planned interview on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was canceled. She said she had received correspondence from people around the world concerned for her well being.
Storro’s story rocked Vancouver, a city of about 165,000 . Funds were set up for Storro at Umpquah and Riverview Community banks, which did not return requests for comment Thursday.
Vancouver police Commander Marla Schuman said detectives were working on a way to return any money donated to Storro.