JACKSON, Miss. - The story of a badly disfigured 3-year-old being asked to leave a Mississippi KFC was reportedly all made up by her family in an attempt to bilk KFC of money.
As the Laurel Leader-Call reports, sources with deep knowledge of the investigation said the accusations from the girl's family just aren't adding up.
The allegation was made recently on "Victoria's Victories," a Facebook page following Victoria Wilcher's recovery from a pit bull attack in April. Photos show her facial scars and cartoon-decorated eye patch.
KFC posted an apology on the page, requesting details.
KFC Corp. began investigating the allegations that the KFC employee in Jackson, Mississippi, asked the girl to leave a restaurant because her facial injuries frightened other patrons. A spokesman says KFC is giving $30,000 toward her medical bills.
But now, sources say investigators have reviewed surveillance footage at the KFC locations involved in the allegation. Investigators said neither Victoria nor her grandmother (reportedly with her at the time) appeared on the surveillance videos on the day they said the "brush off" happened.
Another issue: The family claimed they ordered things from the KFC... that KFC says were never ordered that day. Investigators confirmed this by checking store records.
Spokesman Rick Maynard told The Associated Press that the donation will be made regardless of what the investigation finds.
On the Facebook page, Victoria's family posted the background story of how she was injured:
"In April 2014 while visiting with her grandfather Victoria was the victim of a tragic pit bull attack. The 3 dogs involved where put down immediately by the owner. Victoria had bites all over her body but the most damage was to her sweet little face. She had a broken upper and lower jaw, broken nose, cheek bones and right eye socket. She lost her right eye completely and the ability to move the right side of her face. They have reconstructed her bottom jaw but cant do anymore surgeries until she grows new bone in her face due to the fact that the broken pieces are to small to piece together. She is currently at home with a feeding tube, but doing amazing."
KFC responded to the original post on Facebook with this statement:
"Please accept our sincere apologies while we try to investigate this incident," the KFC post read. "We have zero tolerance for any kind of disrespectful behavior by our team members. Once we have further details, we will immediately investigate this and take action, and we wish nothing but the best for Victoria in her recovery."
In response to the hoax claims, another statement was left on the girl's support group page on Facebook, claiming "the article circling the web calling this a hoax is untrue."
"Please do not believe the untrue media," part of the statement read. "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."
A GoFundMe account set up by Wilcher's aunt has raised more than $135,000 toward a stated goal of $200,000 as of Tuesday morning.