Possible hate crime in southeast Missouri

PUXICO, Mo. (AP) - An incident involving a car fire and vandalism at a southeast Missouri home is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

The crimes happened Monday night in rural Stoddard County.

The Dexter Daily Statesman reported Thursday that an interracial couple, Scotty Smothers and Beverly Jones, awoke to barking dogs at about 10 p.m.

The car was on fire and racist wording was spray-painted on their home, on the burning car and on another vehicle.

Sheriff Carl Hefner said there were no suspects.

The FBI has been contacted, and the state fire marshal is also investigating.

Information from: Dexter Daily Statesman, http://www.dailystatesman.com

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