Alyssa Morales Philadelphia woman has face burnt off during attack in Harrowgate Park district. No arrests made.
‘I just want to know who did this … Who could possibly do it?’
A Philadelphia woman effectively had her face burned off after being set on fire during an attack as police search for the culprit and as the victim’s family are left aghast.
Alyssa Morales, 36, remains in a medically induced coma after suffering second- and third-degree burns on over 60% of her body last Thursday night.
‘She’s going to live, but she’ll have permanent damage,’ the victim’s mother, Leah Ann Morales, told CBS3.
‘She’s going to have to have a new face. I’m saying it, she’ll never have the face she was born with, and they said that’s the hard part when she can look in the mirror and see a different face looking back at her.’
Open drug market
Morales was in too much pain to identity herself when she was first rushed to hospital — and had to be listed as a Jane Doe for two days before her family was alerted, according to a GoFundMe page set up by a friend.
Fire crews discovered the severely burned woman after they were called to put out a blaze in Harrowgate Park, Kensington neighborhood at about 11:30 p.m.
The area notorious for being an open drug bazaar amid addicts and the homeless, was recently described: ‘This city and region have maintained a decades-long strategy of containing a billion-dollar drug market in my neighborhood, and that strategy has obliterated any attempts to organize.’
‘At night … there are individuals that are involved in the drug trade, selling drugs, using drugs,’ Chief Inspector Scott Small told WPVI-TV. ‘There’s a lot of prostitution in the area, so we’re talking to some of the individuals that frequent the area.’
Police, who have since launched an aggravated assault investigation, said Morales, also known as ‘Bre’ was set alight after getting into a fight with a man and woman.
Witnesses told cops they saw the woman throw some kind of liquid at the victim and then set her on fire.
‘She never hurt anybody, just herself…’
‘She never hurt anybody, just herself. She’s just an addict, misguided. She went to college and she just fell into that hole, and can’t climb out,’ the mother said.
Adding, ‘I’m sad, I’m broken, I’m angry, so angry, I just want to know who did this … Who could possibly do it?’
Leah Ann Morales said Alyssa has been battling a heroin addiction for about 12 years. The mother had been keeping up with her daughter on the YouTube channel AML FILMS, watching videos about her life in Kensington.
‘Yesterday was the day that we were supposed to meet, and it would have been the first time that I saw her physically in about four years,’ Lee Ann Morales said.
A video account described Alyssa being a high school cheerleader, graduated from Penn State and started graduate school in Colorado to become an audiologist.
Asked how many times she had overdosed, Alyssa, responded, ‘not a lot.’ Pressed further she added, ‘you wake up.’
Alyssa will be hospitalized for the next three months.
Police to date have not identified any suspects or made any arrests.