JACKSON, Miss. - An unnamed source with "deep knowledge" of the third-party investigation paid for by Kentucky Fried Chicken says the story of a 3-year-old being turned away because of her facial scars is a hoax.
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, garnering support from all over the country for the little girl who had been mauled by her grandfather's pit bulls .
That support includes 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 , the investigation, which is not yet complete, has found problems with the timeline and facts provided by the Kelly Mullins, Victoria's grandmother, who first reported the incident.
Though on the day of the alleged incident, May 15, Victoria and her grandmother were at Batson Children’s Hospital and the two closest locations are on Woodrow Wilson Drive and Meadowbrook Drive in Jackson.
However, Teri Rials Bates , an aunt of the girl, posted on the Victoria's Victories Facebook page that it was at a location that had been closed for years. She later said it happened at Woodrow Wilson Drive location and called her first comment as a "mistake."
Even then, the source says, surveillance tape at that location doesn't show Victoria or her grandmother or anyone fitting their descriptions on that day.
Further, the source claims 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 the Facebook page: "I promise its not a hoax, I never thought any of this would blow up the way it has."
Nearly 2000 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, though the family's attorney says they haven't decided yet whether to accept it.