The story of a badly disfigured little girl, who was asked to leave a Mississippi KFC restaurant, may have been a complete hoax.
According to the Laurel Leader-Call, the allegations that three-year-old Victoria Wilcher and her grandmother were asked to leave the Jackson restaurant because she was scaring the other customers are false.
"They just told us, they said, ‘We have to ask you to leave because her face is disrupting our customers,’” Kelly Mullins, Victoria's grandmother said at the time of the alleged incident. "[Victoria] just cried the whole way home ... She won't look in the mirror."
Now, after a thorough investigation, it is believed that neither Kelly nor Victoria were at the restaurant as they claimed to be. Investigators reviewed the surveillance cameras in both the Meadowbrook and Woodrow Wilson KFC locations in Jackson and never saw a woman and child, matching Victoria's description, in either restaurant on May 15.
“I ordered a sweet tea and mashed potatoes and gravy," Kelly said. "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.”
Again, investigators found no transaction that included mashed potatoes and gravy and a sweet tea on the date the incident was supposed to have happened.
Until the investigation is complete no one with KFC, including Jackson franchise owner Kirk Hannon, will comment on the incident. However, they did release the following statement.
“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 read.
“We 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 Victoria’s medical bills," the statement added. "Along with the KFC Corporation, we are determined to get to the truth and address the situation appropriately.”
So, was the story simply a hoax to raise money for Victoria's medical bills? That is what many people are thinking seeing as though Victoria's gofundme.com fundraising site had only raised $600 prior to the news stories, and now has raised a whopping $135,000.
However, Vitoria's family is adamant that the story is not a hoax. Teri Rials Bates, Victoria's aunt, took to Victoria's Facebook Page called Victoria's Victories to try and set the record straight. "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 it self say the investigation is not complete. It is not over until KFC releases a statement," the Facebook post read.
"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," the post continued. "They have not and would not do anything to hurt Victoria in any way."
Image via Wikimedia Commons