Woman, 36, has face burned off in violent Philadelphia street attack

·2-min read
Alyssa Morales, 36, suffered burns to her body and face in a recent attack (Lee Ann Morales / GoFundMe)
Alyssa Morales, 36, suffered burns to her body and face in a recent attack (Lee Ann Morales / GoFundMe)

The mother of a 36-year-old Philadelphia woman who was hospitalised in a violent attack last week has spoken out about her daughter’s ordeal.

Leah Ann Morales said her daughter’s face would be different forever, and in an interview with CBS3 on Thursday appealed for the suspect in the attack to come forward.

“She’s going to live, but she’ll have permanent damage,” Ms Morales said of her daughter, who was found with severe burns on her body last Thursday.

Police are treating the case as aggravated assault, and as WPVI-TV reported, suspect the women seen arguing with Alyssa as the person responsible.

“She’s going to have to have a new face,” said her mother, Ms Morales. “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.”

Police say Alyssa was attacked in Harrowgate Park in the Kensington area of the city during an argument with a woman, who was seen by a witness spraying some kind of liquid at Alyssa at then setting her alight.

A man who was with Alyssa at the time and who was also reportedly attacked fled the scene.

Alyssa Morales has burns to at least 50 per cent of her body (Lee Ann Morales / GoFundMe)
Alyssa Morales has burns to at least 50 per cent of her body (Lee Ann Morales / GoFundMe)

“She sees the female that’s with them spray some kind of liquid towards the male and the female, and that liquid then is lit on fire,” said Philadelphia Police Department Chief Inspector Frank Vanore of the witness to WPVI.

Alyssa’s mother has appealed for the suspect to come forward and said: “I just want to know who did this.”

“I’m sad, I’m broken, I’m angry. so angry,” Ms Morales said. “Wouldn’t everybody want to know who did this? Who could possibly do it? Do you want them to do it again? They go home and laugh, ‘Oh, I got away with this?’”

Alyssa, who according to her mother’s GoFundMe fundraiser was homeless and had battled a drug addiction for many years, is expected to remain recovering in hospital for the rest of the summer after receiving severe burns over 50 per cent of her body.

“The medical needs Alyssa will have in the future are unknown,” the fundraiser says. “No matter what people may think of those who battle addiction, no human being should ever have to endure what Alyssa has endured”.

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