Police investigate hate crime as family's car is allegedly set on fire over interracial relationship

Police are investigating what appears to be a hate crime after a Goldsboro, North Carolina, family’s SUV was set on fire because their daughter, who is white, was dating an African-American teenager.

WTVD reported that the Wayne County Sheriff's Office said the fire occurred Thursday.

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Amanda Miller, the girl's mother, told WNCN two of her vehicles were damaged overnight while her family was asleep. Her Chrysler Town & Country minivan was covered with swastikas and racist and sexist language. The other, a new Ford SUV, was set on fire.

Miller told WNCN she thinks the damage was because her daughter was dating an African-American teen.

"It just makes your heart sink," Miller told WTVD. "I've always tried to instill in her be friends with who is good to you. Like who is good to you. It doesn't matter what color somebody is and it doesn't matter what race they are."

Miller said her daughter and the teen have since split up amicably and his parents have been supportive since the hate crime.

“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.

The mother of the high school freshman said her daughter has been the subject of harassment over who she’s dated before.

"My daughter -- she has always dated black men," Miller told WNCN. "All through middle school she had one boyfriend."

“She’s always kind of had people staring at her and telling her it’s not the way it should be … and we just kind of tell her, unfortunately, this is the world we live in. But you never expect that they're going to go to this extreme,” Miller said.

Miller said her new car has been totaled and insurance won't cover the full amount they owe, putting her family out $7,000. She set up a GoFundMe page with a $10,000 goal to help with expenses.

WSOC reported that Miller's daughter is visiting family out of state, but when she returns home, police will look at her social media and phone to help them determine who may have committed the crime. Police will also speak with administrators at her school, WTVD reported.

Authorities have also alerted the State Bureau of Investigation.

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