Fairfax County police investigating cross-shaped burn marking

Fairfax County police are investigating after a cross-shaped burn mark was discovered in an Alexandria neighborhood.

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The mark, which was found in the Groveton section of Alexandria on 3400 block of Clayborne Avenue, is a disturbing discovery to several neighbors.

"I was really saddened to hear it was an even a possibility. You know, I’m not sure of the details through different neighbors but –um concerned that something like that could be happening in our neighborhood," said Heather Marshall, who told FOX 5 she used to live in the South, where she recalled reports of cross burnings happening.

Neighbors tell FOX 5 the cross-shaped mark was discovered by someone mowing a lawn for a homeowner.

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Investigators believe the mark was made sometime over the past 15 days. Police confirmed the home itself, has been vacant for a few years. There are people moving around the property doing renovations, but it’s not currently lived-in.

"I think this is an isolated incident. We’re still investigating it, but at this point – to try and figure out what the actual intent of the individual was who did it. This incident was in the backyard of a fenced-in yard with a 6ft. fence, so it’s not visible from the roadway," said Fairfax County Police Lieutenant Frederick Chambers.

Chambers also told FOX 5 no wood, cross or hole in the ground were found.

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Fire investigators believe whomever made the mark used a chemical.

They say the homeowner is a minority, but say it was not immediately clear if or why the homeowner, who is hardly there, would be targeted.

Police are taking the potential bias crime investigation very seriously.