The heartbreaking story about the three-year-old girl being told to leave KFC because she was scaring other customers with her disfigured face was apparently just a hoax made up by the girl’s grandmother.
Victoria Wilcher of Mississippi lost her right eye and suffered from broken bones and visible facial injuries after she was attacked by her grandfather’s three pit bulls. The dogs were put down after the incident in April, though the child still bears the scars.
In an interview with 16 Wapt News earlier in June, Victoria’s grandmother Kelly Mullins claimed that she was feeding the little girl at a local KFC when they were asked to leave by a staff.
“I ordered a sweet tea and mashed potatoes and gravy. I sat down at the table and started feeding her and the lady came over and said that we would have to leave because we were disturbing other customers, that Victoria’s face was disturbing other customers,” Mullins said.
KFC officials launched an investigation upon hearing the viral story, saying they have been in touch with Victoria and her family about the incident.
The fast food restaurant donated U$30,000 to help with Victoria’s medical bills. The family has also received over U$135,000 in donation from people all over the world through the site gofundme.com since the story has been published.
But according to Laurel Leader-Call, the whole incident appears to be just a hoax.
Sources with knowledge of the investigation claim that Mullins’ account of what happened doesn’t fit with the evidence gathered.
The grandmother claims that the incident happened on May 15, and as per the entry on the Facebook page Victoria’s Victories, a support site for the girl, they have come from the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital.
On May 16, an entry on the Facebook page read, “Victoria pulled her feeding tube out but thanks to the great people at Batson Children’s Hospital she is home today waiting for her new sister!”
But the surveillance videos on both the Meadowbrook and Woodrow Wilson KFC branches, the two locations close to the hospital, show that there were no children in the store who matched the description of Victoria. There was also no recorded order of mashed potatoes and sweet tea on the same transaction.
A message on Victoria’s Victories denied the report, insisting that the incident has really happened.
“I promise its not a hoax, I never thought any of this would blow up the way it has. The article circling the web calling this a hoax is untrue. The article circling the web calling this a hoax is untrue. The article it self say the investigation is not complete. It is not over until KFC releases a statement. The media outlet running this story is not connected with KFC.
“The family has not asked for anything, a attorney is handling all the media publicity for the family pro bono. Please do not believe untrue media. I have personally watched this family go without to provide for Victoria. They have not and would not do anything to hurt Victoria in any way,” (all sic) the message reads.
The Facebook page is run by Victoria’s aunt, Teri Rials Bates.
KFC would not comment on the investigation until it is completed, though it has released a statement about the incident.
“We continue to take this report seriously, and of course have great sympathy for Victoria and her family. Since we have so far not been able to verify the incident in our internal investigation, we have also hired a third-party consultant to conduct an independent investigation to help us resolve this matter,” the statement from local franchise owner Kirk Hannon reads, as obtained by WJTV.
“We have prided ourselves on respect for all people and we will continue to emphasise this to all our employees.”