JACKSON, Miss. — The report of a 3-year-old being asked to leave a KFC restaurant due to facial scars from a dog attack was a hoax, according to the Laurel Leader-Call.
Citing a source that spoke to the Leader-Call on the condition of strict anonymity, the paper says the story that resulted in the family bilking the public and professionals for more than $135,000 in cash, as well as gifts and free surgeries, doesn’t add up.
The story began going viral on June 12 when Victoria’s Victories, a support Facebook page for 3-year-old Victoria Wilcher, posted “Does this face look scary to you? Last week at KFC in Jackson MS this precious face was asked to leave because her face scared the other diners.”
Kelly Mullins, the child’s grandmother, said her granddaughter was asked to leave the restaurant in Jackson on May 15 because of her facial scars.
Wilcher lost her right eye and suffered a broken jaw, broken ribs and several puncture wounds when she was attacked by three pit bulls in April.
Wilcher had just been released from Batson Children’s Hospital after a month of recovery. Restricted to only soft foods, Wilcher’s grandmother says she went to KFC to get her mashed potatoes and gravy. Mullins said she ordered a sweet tea for herself.
Mullins said she started feeding Wilcher when a worker came over.
“She said that we’d have to leave, we were disturbing her other customers… Victoria’s face was disturbing other customers,” the grandmother said.
According to the Leader-Call’s source, who has “deep knowledge of the investigation” the paper said, surveillance video from May 15 does not show anyone who matches Mullins and Wilcher’s descriptions in the store. Additionally, the source said there were no transactions on May 15 recorded to include mashed potatoes and sweet tea on the same transaction, or even the two items as part of a larger order.
The source noted that many people “suffering from all sorts of ailments” have come into the KFC from the hospital and no one has ever been asked to leave.
Additionally, the Leader-Call reports the family initially told KFC the incident happened at a location that is not in operation and has been closed for several years. This claim was later changed to a different location and Wilcher’s aunt, who runs her Facebook page, said she just got the street name wrong.
“Dont [sic] blame the grandmother for my mistake!” the girl’s aunt posted to Facebook.
The source said it was no mistake at all.
“It just didn’t happen,” the source said.
Dick West, president of West Quality Food, one of the largest franchisees in the KFC chain and the owner of the local KFCs, also made his feelings clear on the Facebook page of a Jackson television station, posting, “When the allegation was first made, KFC pledged $30,000 to go to medical expenses and started an investigation to find the truth. They have pledged the money even if it is proven that the incident never happened. At this point their story is full of holes. Any thinking person who follows their timeline can see it. The event at KFC never happened.”
Attempts to reach the family by the Leader-Call were unsuccessful.