The family of the 3-year-old girl who they claim was thrown out of a KFC restaurant in Jackson, Miss., are standing by their story despite a newspaper's report that it was all a hoax.
The Laurel Leader Call, citing unnamed sources, reports that the family made up the story. Victoria Wilcher's family had said a KFC worker told them to leave because Victoria's scars from a pitbull terrier attack were making people uncomfortable.
According to the Laurel Leader Call, surveillance video from two KFC restaurants in Jackson do not show any children that looked like Victoria on the day of the incident.
A Facebook page run by Victoria's aunt denied that the story was a hoax.
"I promise it's 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 itself says 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. An 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," the post said.
The allegations against KFC drew widespread condemnation and prompted the fast food chain to donate $30,000 towards Victoria's charity while promising to pay for an independent review to be carried out to determine what happened. KFC said an internal investigation found no evidence of the incident.
Wilcher's grandmother, Kelly Mullins, first made the allegations after she said she took the girl to KFC after a hospital visit. Mullins also had told a local TV station that she "ordered a sweet tea and mashed potatoes and gravy'' at the restaurant.
A review of transactions on May 15 at both Jackson locations found those items weren't included in the same order at any point, according to the Laurel Leader Call.
Victoria had been injured in April when three of her grandfather's pitbulls ran into his home. They dragged the little girl outside, where they continued to maul her before her grandfather, Donald Mullins, could stop them.
In addition to the donation from KFC, Victoria's family had been raising money online via crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to pay for the girl's medical bills. Before the reported KFC incident, her fundraising page, created April 28, had raised just over $578 from seven donors, reported the Clarion-Ledger. After June 13, the number swelled to $135,000.