UPDATE: The family is denying reports that being asked to leave KFC was nothing more than a hoax. Read what the family has to say.
ORIGINAL STORY: It was a compelling and heartbreaking story when reports surfaced that a Jackson, Mississippi, KFC had asked a 3-year-old girl to leave after her wounds from a pit bull attack apparently scared customers. But now it turns out that the story may be just that — a story.
Readers may remember the story that circulated in recent weeks of 3-year-old Victoria Wilcher, whose grandmother said the girl was asked to leave a Jackson KFC, prompting KFC to launch a full investigation and pledging $30,000 to cover some of the girl’s medical expenses as she recovers from the attack.
But as The Clarion-Ledger details, per the Laurel Leader-Call, holes started to appear in the grandmother’s story shortly after the investigation into the claims began, according to a source who spoke to the Leader-Call.
“The source said surveillance videos show that at no time on the 15th were any people 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.”
The source also detailed how the company’s point of sale systems show no orders matching what the grandmother, Kelly Mullins, said was their order on the day of the visit to KFC, adding more fuel to the hoax theory.
“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.”
Perhaps most damning of all was the initial claim on a Facebook page for Wilcher in which her family claimed the incident happened at a KFC location on State Street in Jackson, a KFC location which isn’t even in operation.
Of course, the family claims to have a good explanation for the mix up, the paper reported.
“Victoria’s Victories changed its story Friday, saying the State Street reference was a mistake. In it, Bates wrote: ‘Im 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 New York Daily News reports that the family has received donations of $135,000 since the story went viral in recent weeks. KFC has also pledged $30,000 to the girl’s medical expenses, which it says it will still honor regardless of whether the story turns out to be a hoax or not.
But the whole thing has the Daily News calling this “a finger-lickin’ fraud.”
What do you think? Is the grandmother telling the truth or is the story of being kicked out of a KFC for being disfigured just one big hoax? What should happen to the grandmother if this does turn out to be a hoax?