Police are still looking for answers in horrific burning of Duluth woman - Bring Me The News

Police are still looking for answers in horrific burning of Duluth woman

She's in the hospital with burns covering 85 percent of her body.

Update: Police now believe that 24-year-old Jaclyn Smith set herself on fire, saying the injuries were "self-inflicted" in a Wednesday afternoon update. You can read more by clicking here.

Original story from Tuesday, Oct. 24:

Nearly a week after a young woman was found severely burned along a highway in Duluth, local police continue to ask the public for tips – while family and friends ask for prayers.

Jaclyn Arnold's medical situation is bleak: she's in a Twin Cities hospital with "full thickness burns" covering 85 percent of her body, friends say

That means the fire destroyed both layers of the 24-year-old's skin – the dermis and epidermis – and possibly her nerve endings as well. 

Police are being tight-lipped about what happened – a Monday update says only that the burning is still under investigation – but relatives tell WCCO that someone doused Arnold "with an accelerant." 

She has 20 to 30 surgeries ahead of her now, the station says.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page that was set up in her honor last Thursday has already exceeded its fundraising goal of $10,000. As of this writing, the page has gathered nearly $15,000 in donations to help the victim cover her medical costs.

And those costs are likely to be high, as "we have been informed she will be in-patient for a minimum of three months," the GoFundMe says.

Arnold works with Native American families through the First Witness Child Advocacy Center in Duluth, according to the News Tribune.

What we know about the incident

On Thursday, Oct. 19, a driver on Highway 23 spotted a woman on the roadside covered in flames. The victim was right near the Lake Superior College Fire Training Center when she was discovered.

The good samaritan was able to put out the flames and contact authorities. 

Other than that, few details have been released. In their update from Monday, police said they will treat the incident as "suspicious until we are able to determine if a crime has been committed."

"We do not believe the community is at risk at this time," they added. 

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