TBI investigating after racist graffiti found spray-painted on wall at burned home

RIPLEY, Tenn. — A Ripley family is heartbroken and homeless this Thanksgiving.

The homeowner said someone spray-painted a racial slur on their pool wall and set his house on fire in Ripley, Tennessee.

Right now, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case.

“Two levels, it was a two-level home. A 6,000 square feet home,” said homeowner Alan Mays.

Mays used to call it his dream home for his wife and three foster kids.

However, someone burned down the home off Hunters Trace Drive and spray-painted a racial slur on the pool wall on November 1.

Alan said he was on vacation with his family when he found out the horrible news from the fire chief.

“You are not going to kill my spirit, okay. I pray for you because you have a problem, okay. To do this to a family, you have a problem,” said Mays.

Mays said the worst part is he’s living in a hotel with his wife in Jackson while his three foster children are placed in another foster home until he can find a new place to live.

He planned on officially adopting them for Christmas but is worried it will get pushed back because of his living situation.

“It’s hard,” said Mays. “The kids have been through this traumatic event. Now, every night they sleep at a different place. That’s traumatic, and they don’t want to go home, and they cling to my legs.”

Alan said even though life is hard right now, he’s thankful his family is okay.

“I’m thankful and blessed to still be living. Thankful for my family and the time I get to spend with them,” said Mays.