KFC: No evidence girl with scarred face asked to leave restaurant; donation page suspended

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Three-year-old Victoria Wilcher was badly scarred in April in a pit bull attack.

(CNN) — There is no evidence to support a family’s claim that a scarred 3-year-old girl was asked to leave a KFC in Jackson, Miss., because she was frightening customers, KFC said Tuesday.

Victoria Wilcher was badly scarred in April in a pit bull attack. Her grandmother, Kelly Mullins, had told CNN affiliate WAPT that she took Victoria to a Jackson KFC after a doctor’s appointment, and a restaurant employee asked them to leave because the girl’s scars frightened other diners.

Two investigations took place, including one by an independent investigator, and neither revealed any evidence that the incident occurred, KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said in a statement e-mailed to CNN.

The family-maintained Facebook page called Victoria’s Victories was taken down Tuesday, but before that happened, this statement was posted:

“I promise its not a hoax, I never thought any of this would blow up the way it has. … 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.”

Despite repeated calls by CNN, neither the family nor the family’s lawyer could be reached for comment.

After the family’s story became public, donations poured into the family’s fund-raising effort at http://www.gofundme.com. KFC apologized on the family’s Facebook page and donated $30,000 for Victoria’s treatment.

The CEO of the fund-raising webpage GoFundMe, Brad Damphousse, issued a statement Tuesday suspending the campaign and offering to refund donations.

“In lieu of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the ‘Victoria’s Victories’ online fundraising effort, GoFundMe has temporarily suspended the campaign until the full truth is made clear,” the statement said.

The Leader-Call newspaper in Laurel, Mississippi, broke the story casting doubt on the family’s story, using unnamed sources.

“The sources spoke on the condition of strict anonymity because they were not permitted to speak on the record,” the newspaper reported.

Pit bulls attacked Victoria in April while visiting her grandfather, from whom Kelly Mullins is divorced, authorities said.

The dogs bit the girl all over, but especially on her face. She has severe facial scars and lost sight in her right eye and the ability to move the right side of her face, Mullins told WAPT. She wears an eye patch with a cartoon character on it.

After the family’s claim became public, KFC conducted the two investigations.

“Neither revealed any evidence that the incident occurred and we consider the investigation closed,” said the company’s statement released Tuesday. “We are honoring our commitment to make a $30,000 donation to assist with Victoria’s medical bills. We hope everyone keeps Victoria in their thoughts and prayers. She will certainly be in ours.”

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  • tired worker

    If it is a scam, it is wrong. I can understand needing help for the little girl, but ask for help People are more than willing to help a child especially one who needs help like she does.

  • scallywagy

    The question is how did Victoria Wilcher's family come to expect that they could pull this off and didn't they think at some point that they would be exposed (and to what else)? It will be interesting to see whether KFC will actually stand by their pledge or will the family teeter on the axiom that they have yet to decide whether they will accept their pledge- hardly the stance of a family legitimately wronged …? Or are we to believe that the media got it wrong again and the Wilchers are innocent after all? And now their Facebook and fund pages are closed too…

  • concerned human

    It is wrong to punish Victoria if the people responsible for her wellbeing fabricated a false incident. Why take back the donations? She is not to blame for any of this. Someone who is an uninvolved third party should be delegated to manage and control the donations yo allow the intended help that Victoria needs!

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