GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff says the vandalism of two vehicles is being investigated as a hate crime stemming from an interracial relationship between two teens.
A Wednesday release from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office says that on Dec. 27 a white family's minivan was found spray-painted with a swastika and several racial slurs, , including "N***** loving b****," while another vehicle was set on fire.
The vehicle set on fire sustained enough internal damage to be totaled.
The sheriff's office believes the family was targeted because their 14-year-old daughter was in a relationship with a black teen.
The girl's mother, Amanda Miller, tells news outlets the couple met in church. She says they've since amicably broken up, and the boy's parents have been supportive following the vandalism.
Miller says her daughter previously dated a black student in middle school, and has received threatening messages on social media.
"I think anybody that has that much anger and write something like that and damage someone else's property — they're capable of doing bodily harm to somebody else," Miller said. "You still wake up every day and think it's a bad dream."
Deputies tell local media they've already carried out several interviews and will look into the girl's social media accounts and school connections for clues.