Lafayette police investigating car fire

Lafayette police are investigating an incident where a woman's car was set on fire Thursday morning. News 18 spoke with the woman who says she's now left picking up the pieces to a crime she believes was un-motivated.

Posted: Aug 13, 2020 8:03 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2020 7:03 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLF)— Around 6AM Thursday morning Jacqueline Schmidt says she heard a boom and thought it was her dog.

"It was the whoosh of my car getting completely engulfed in flames," said Schmidt.

She went outside to find that her 2019 Honda Civic was set on fire.

"What really caught it for me was the glow outside the window that you go, "that's not lights, that's not artificial, that's fire," said Schmidt.

It's unclear why Schmidt's car was set on fire. Lafayette police said they believe the act was deliberate. Once the fire was put out detectives found a t-shirt, gas can and a lighter.

"The impacts of such obviously go farther than me," said Schmidt. "We have people living here with children with kids and babies."

People such as Ezekiel Abitia, Schmidt's neighbor. As her car sat burning for nearly ten minutes while fire crews worked to put it out, part of his car caught fire too. 

"All I saw was the front passenger side of my car all melted in," said Abitia. "Yea, you really have to wonder what kind of person out there wants to target somebody."

While Schmidt is still processing the incident, she's working with her insurance company to see what the next steps are for her and her neighbor.

"Definitely something you don't expect first thing in the morning," said Schmidt. "It's not the alarm that you set on your phone. I loved her. She was good to me, she deserved more years than she got." 

If you have any information you are encouraged to call Lafayette police at 765-807-1200.

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