The story of a 3-year-old Mississippi girl kicked out of a KFC restaurant because her face was disturbing other customers is a hoax, according to a newspaper investigation.
JACKSON, Miss. -- The story of a 3-year-old dog attack victim being turned away from a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant because of her facial scars is a hoax, according to a third-party investigation paid for by KFC.
After claims hit the web that Victoria Wilcher was asked to leave a KFC in Jackson, Mississippi because her appearance made other customers uncomfortable, the story went viral and garnered support from all over the country. Wilcher received her facial injuries when she was mauled by her grandfather's pit bulls .
The nation's support for Wilcher included more than $135,000 in donations on the family's GoFundMe page -- and free medical services, like an offer for free plastic surgery by a Las Vegas doctor.
But, according to a report by Sean Murphy of the Laurel Leader-Call , an investigation by KFC found problems with the timeline and facts provided by the Kelly Mullins, Victoria's grandmother.
On May 15 -- the day of the alleged incident -- Victoria and her grandmother were at Batson Children’s Hospital and the two closest KFC locations are on Woodrow Wilson Drive and Meadowbrook Drive in Jackson. However, Teri Rials Bates , Victoria's aunt, posted on Facebook the KFC Victoria visited was at a location that no longer exists. Bates later said it happened at the Woodrow Wilson Drive location and called her first comment a "mistake."
The newspaper's source says surveillance tape at that location doesn't show Victoria or her grandmother or anyone fitting their descriptions entering the store that day.
Further, the source claimed no one in Jackson, Mississippi at either location ordered mashed potatoes and sweet tea -- as a single order as Mullins said she had -- or as part of a larger order on that day.
“It just didn’t happen,” the source told the Leader-Call.
Bates replied to the hoax story, writing on Facebook: "I promise its not a hoax, I never thought any of this would blow up the way it has."
Nearly 2,000 comments have been made on that post thus far, most of them condemning the family.
For its part, KFC plans to go through with its $30,000 donation to Victoria's medical bills. An attorney says Victoria's family members haven't decided yet if they should accept it.
The Leader-Call's investigation is not yet complete.