LEESBURG, Va. — An African American family in Loudoun County is distraught over hateful, racist messages left in the snow. Neighbors first saw the swastika, some drawings of male body parts and the N-word in huge letters next to Myra's house.
"It's sad it just hurts. I just never imagined." Myra only wants to give her first name because she's a bit rattled over what was drawn and written in the snow by her home on Thursday afternoon.
"I was devastated. I mean, my kids, my 9 and 6-year-old boys saw my reaction and they were very scared. They asked me what the N-word meant. That was kind of hard to explain," Myra said.
They believe teenagers from another neighborhood did it. They were seen and heard on doorbells videos right before it happened.
"We didn't seem them doing it on the video, but we saw some teens on the street, just acting up. And asking about which house...I couldn't help but feel targeted. There's about 20 houses on the street, so they passed all those houses," she said.
The N-word was written in her next-door neighbor's yard but she still felt targeted. "Absolutely. She's not African American.On our street, we are the only African American family."
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is investigating. Deputies collected evidence and took interviews, but they haven't been able to identify a specific crime yet. It's not vandalism because it was only written in the snow and a hate crime has to be connected to a 'predicate act', or earlier offense says Loudoun County Sheriff's spokesman Kraig Troxell.
Regardless, Loudoun Board Chairwoman Phyllis Randall says it's a wake up call and needs to be addressed.
"These things happen, in our county and other counties around the country. We have to face them, we can't deny them and we have to deal with them straight on because the pain that they cause for one family is unbearable and unacceptable," said Randall.
The pain is deep, says Myra. "You'll never understand how deep unless you're African American." She'd like an apology from those who did it.
"I would like them to talk to my kids, and they were once 9 and 6. They learned it somewhere. I feel it's learned behavior. So what are we teaching our kids?"