Could the Washington Acid Attack Have Been a Hoax?
A shocking new twist in the story of the woman who says a stranger threw acid in her face.
Newspapers in Bethany Storro's hometown are asking if it's all a hoax and if her horrific injuries are actually self-inflicted.
"Some things don't add up and the police have not ruled her out in doing something like this," said The Columbian Editor Lou Brancaccio.
Speculation intensified after Storro bailed out of an appearance on Oprah scheduled for Thursday, September 16.
Storro posted this statement on her Facebook page: "I wanted to inspire people and tell them about Jesus. The show was going to possibly turn in another direction so my family and I decided not to go on."
Storro claimed a total stranger threw acid in her face after she parked her car outside a Starbucks in Vancouver, Washington.
But there are no witnesses to the attack, and even the passer-by who called 911 did not actually see what happened.
Storro even helped investigators create a sketch of the assailant. Now, The Vancouver Voice newspaper reported her injuries are inconsistent with acid being thrown in somebody's face because there are no burns on her neck, shoulders, eyes, lips or hair.
Storro claims her eyes were protected by sunglasses she bought just 20 minutes before the attack.
Her injuries are very different from those of Derri Velarde who was splashed with acid in Mesa, Arizona five days later. Velarde's burns are spread across the face, neck, chest and arms.
"It is really hard to imagine that someone would throw acid on their own face. Usually we see them injuring themselves in other ways, but not on the face," said criminal profiler Pat Brown.
When asked if Storro's wounds could have been self inflicted, a Vancouver police spokesman said, "We don't have any evidence that shows that."
And Storro's former mother-in-law is defending her, calling the speculation "as hideous as the crime itself."
Brown says, "They're fair questions. We don't like to have these hoaxes played out on us. It's terrible for the citizens and its terrible for other victims who should be taken seriously."