The story of a disfigured 3-year-old girl being asked to leave a Jackson, Miss., KFC because she was scaring other customers is a hoax, the Laurel Leader-Call in Mississippi reported Monday.
The DC GazetteÂ recently reported on a disfigured little girl who was asked to leave a KFC restaurant.Â The story swept the nation and created a wellspring of sympathy, gifts, donations and offers of free plastic surgery for little Victoria Wilcher, who the family said was mauled by dogs.
- After the story went viral, KFC offered the family $30,000 to help with medical bills.
- The newspaper says a third-party mediator has been investigating the familyâ€™s claim
- Story of girl getting tossed from KFC bogus; â€˜It never happenedâ€™
The jig is up.
The heart-wrenching story of a badly disfigured 3-year-old child being asked to leave a Jackson KFC because her appearance was scaring other customers was a story generated out of whole cloth and resulted in the family bilking the public and professionals for more than $135,000 in cash, as well as gifts and free surgeries, sources with deep knowledge of the investigation said exclusively to the Laurel Leader-Call.
The sources spoke on the condition of strict anonymity because they were not permitted to speak on the record.
A third-party mediator has been brought in on the case and he has been investigating the claims. No one with KFC, including Jackson franchise owner Kirk Hannon, would comment on the investigation until it is completed but they did release the following statement on Friday.
â€œWe 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,â€ Hannon said in a statement reported by WJTV. â€œWe have always prided ourselves on respect for all people and we will continue to emphasize this to all our employees. In addition, regardless of the outcome of the current investigation, KFC Corporation has committed $30,000 to assist with Victoriaâ€™s medical bills. Along with the KFC Corporation, we are determined to get to the truth and address the situation appropriately.â€
Of the findings, the sources said:
â€¢ Kelly Mullins, the childâ€™s grandmother who was reportedly with her at the store, told KFC that the incident happened on May 15. A Facebook post attributed to Victoriaâ€™s Victories, a support site for young Victoria Wilcher who was mauled by three of her grandfatherâ€™s pit bulls, has the two in Jackson on May 15 having gone to Blair E. Batson Childrenâ€™s Hospital. There are two KFC locations close to the hospital â€” on Woodrow Wilson Drive and Meadowbrook Drive.
On May 16, Victoriaâ€™s Victories wrote: â€œWe had a small adventure yesterday, Victoria pulled her feeding tube out but thanks to the great people at Batson Childrenâ€™s Hospital she is home today waiting for her new sister! Mom & Baby Abby come home today too!!â€
â€¢ The source said surveillance videos show that at no time on the 15th were any children in the store who match the description of Victoria Wilcher or Mullins. The tapes were viewed in both the Meadowbrook and Woodrow Wilson KFC locations in Jackson, the source said. In hours of tape, the source said one small boy with his parents is seen, but they order food and leave the store.
â€¢ The source said no orders were recorded to include mashed potatoes and sweet tea on the same transaction, or even the two items as part of a larger order on May 15. Mullins told WAPT TV in Jackson shortly after the incident went viral on social media June 12 that: â€œI 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 Victoriaâ€™s face was disturbing other customers.â€
The source said never has a hospital patient been asked to leave one of the KFCs and he pointed to seeing people suffering from all sorts of ailments eat at KFC. Inside Batson Childrenâ€™s Hospital is a plaque of Col. Harland Sanders, founder of KFC, placed there after the company made a multimillion-dollar donation to the hospital.
â€œWe have never ever ever run off anyone, and we have seen some really really sick people come to the restaurant from the hospital,â€ the source said. â€œWeâ€™ve had people come in who were shot in the face. Weâ€™ve had them with tubes and wire sticking out. We never have asked anyone to leave.”
â€œThere is a physically challenged person working in the Woodrow Wilson location and one of the other (KFC) managers has a child with Touretteâ€™s Syndrome,â€ the source said.
â€¢ The family initially told KFC the incident happened at the location on State and High streets, a claim backed by a Facebook post by Victoriaâ€™s Victories, a page run by Teri Rials Bates, the girlâ€™s aunt that read: â€œThank you for your support for Victoria. If you would like to file a complaint its the KFC on State Street in Jackson MS.â€ That store is not in operation and has been closed for several years.
Victoriaâ€™s Victories changed its story Friday, saying the State Street reference was a mistake. In it, Bates wrote. â€œIm the Aunt, I run her page and Im the one that miss quoted that it was State street when it was actually Woodrow Wilson. Dont blame the grandmother for my mistake!
The source said it was no mistake at all.
â€œIt just didnâ€™t happen,â€ the source said.
Read the rest of the Kentucky Fried Hoax…