Vancouver Police: Acid attack was self-inflicted

Face of Fear: Vancouver's Bethany Storro became a national face for victims of acid attacks »Play Video
Bethany Storro is flanked by her parents Nancy and Joe Neuwelt during a news conference at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Ore. on Thursday Sept. 2, 2010.

VANCOUVER, Wash. - The acid attack on 28-year-old Bethany Storro was self-inflicted and was a hoax, according to Vancouver police.

In the course of the investigation, “several discrepancies began to emerge regarding the alleged attack,” said Vancouver Police Chief Clifford Cook during an afternoon news conference.

Police where then able to obtain a search warrant of her home Thursday morning. During the search Cook said they seized a number of items and then interviewed Storro. Police said they didn’t find any substance linked to acid in her home.

During the course of that interview Storro admitted that her injuries were self-inflicted and they did not happen in the way she initially reported to police.

Initially, Storro had told police that a black woman threw acid on her face near a Starbucks near Esther Short Park on 8th and Columbia on Monday evening Aug. 30.

Storro said the woman approached her and said something like, “Hey, pretty girl,” before throwing the acid on her face.

Police said Storro has given them some indication of a motive but have not release that information or how she applied the acid. They said interviews with her are ongoing.

They did say she is "very remorseful."

"In many ways this is something that got bigger than she expected, so she has shown this has affected her a great deal," said Vancouver Police Cmdr. Marla Schuman.

In previous interviews Storro said she had bought sunglasses just 20 minutes before the attack and was wearing them when the acid was thrown in her face. She had said she doesn’t normally wear them.

Forensic psychologist Tony Farrenkopf doesn’t know Storro or why she made up the attack and injured herself, but he says, generally speaking, if someone acts out to get a response, it might be a cry for help.

“We wouldn’t be guessing too hard if we thought that there might be some unmet needs that the person may be having, a need for attention, a need for sympathy.”

It is unknown at this time whether she will face charges, because that will be up to the district attorney's office, police said.