Southern Indiana woman's home is target of racially-charged vandalism

So. Indiana woman's home is target of racially charged vandalism

CAMPBELLSBURG, IN (WAVE) – An African-American woman's home was the recent target of racially-charged vandalism in Campbellsburg, Ind.

Police are now investigating in the Washington County town that has a population of less than 600 people.

The victim, Mia Frias-Russell, woke up Wednesday morning to find her property vandalized, so she turned to Facebook to show what happened. Her video has now been viewed more than 2 million times.

Frias-Russell, a mother of three, felt a slew of emotions when she walked out of her home and saw that the shed behind her house, as well as her Jeep Liberty, had been spray-painted with racial slurs.

"Terrifying, embarrassing, it was very traumatizing," Frias-Russell said.

A substance was also poured into the gas tank of her vehicle.

"The state police took fingerprints from the truck and they took the gas cap, because it was left on the ground. He thinks that, he is going to have it tested, but he's positive it's sugar that was put into the gas tank," Frias-Russell said.

Whatever was put in the gas tank, severely damaged the vehicle. Frias-Russell immediately documented what happened and started broadcasting on Facebook Live.

"I'm scared and I don't have any friends out here, so I don't know who could have done this," she said in the video.

Earlier this year, Frias-Russell moved her family to Washington County from Indianapolis to be closer to her father. She never dreamed she would be treated like this. She said on numerous occasions in the last month she has had racial slurs shouted at her while working in the yard.

The Indiana State Police said it is taking this case very seriously.

"The original crime is actually going to be criminal mischief, but we will investigate it as what we call a, 'bias crime.' A bias crime and a hate crime is very similar," ISP Sgt. Jerry Goodin said.

Frias-Russell said the majority of the community has offered their concerns. One neighbor even stopped by to paint over the vandalism.

In just 48 hours, the Facebook video had been shared more than 60,000 times, with positive messages coming in from around the world.

"Thank you for all the support and love you've sent to my family. It means so much, and it has given me strength to pull through this and come back," Frias-Russell said.

It's a message she chooses to live by.

"I love everyone and I teach love to my children," Frias-Russell said.

Frias-Russell said she hopes she is able to get out of the lease at her home, so that she can move her family.

If you have any information that could solve this crime, you are urged to contact the Indiana State Police.

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