Police in North Carolina said this week that a white family was targeted with racist messages and had their cars set on fire because their 14-year-old daughter was dating an African-American teenage boy, according to WSOCTV.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office confirmed to local ABC affiliate WTVD on Tuesday that deputies are investigating the alleged attack as an apparent hate crime.


"It just makes your heart sink," Amanda Miller, the girl’s mother, told the news station.

"I've always tried to instill in her: Be friends with who is good to you, like who is good to you," she said, adding that it doesn't matter "what color somebody is" or "what race they are.”

The family’s minivan was reportedly spray-painted with a swastika and racial epithets like "[the N-word] loving bitch” on Thursday. Another vehicle owned by the family was also reportedly set ablaze.

Miller said her daughter is a high school freshman and met the teenage boy at a local church. She added that the two have since broken up and that his parents have been supportive following the alleged incident.

The sheriff's office confirmed to the station that it will also be sharing its findings from the case with the state Bureau of Investigation.