UPDATE: 6/24/14, 11:49pm
After conducting two investigations, KFC has concluded that the story of 3-year-old Victoria Wilcher and her family getting kicked out of a KFC restaurant never happened.
KFC Spokesman Rick Maynard released a statment:
Like the rest of America, the KFC family has been moved by the story of Victoria's injuries and recovery. After the alleged incident was reported to us, two investigations took place, including one by an independent investigator. Neither revealed any evidence that the incident occurred and we consider the investigation closed. 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.
KFC publicly apologized and donated $30,000 to the family of three-year-old Victoria Wilcher after the family claimed an employee at a KFC restaurant in Mississippi asked them to leave because Victoria's scars, the result of a vicious dog attack, scared the other customers.
A report from the Laurel Leader-Call claimed the entire situation was a hoax, and was just a publicity stunt to raise money. KFC launched independent investigations into the situation that Kelly Mullins, the girl's grandmother, said happened on May 15. However, a source close to the investigation gave the Laurel Leader-Call information about their findings. Surveillance video reportedly showed no one matching the description of Wilcher or Mullins entered the KFC on that day. Also, Mullins claimed she ordered mashed potatoes and sweet tea, but there's no record of that order ever being placed.
There are two KFC locations near Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital, where Victoria was being treated, and the source said no one has never asked a hospital patient to leave. “We have never ever ever run off anyone, and we have seen some really really sick people come to the restaurant from the hospital,” the source said. “We’ve had people come in who were shot in the face. We’ve had them with tubes and wire sticking out. We never have asked anyone to leave."
Since the post went viral on June 12 on the Victoria's Victories' Facebook page, the family has received more than $135,000 in donations. A doctor from Las Vegas even offered to perform Victoria's reconstructive surgery for free. Despite confirmation that the claim was a hoax, KFC has said it will honor its commitment to donate $30,000 toward Victoria's medical bills.
The family has deleted their Victoria's Victories Facebook page, but here is the text from their statement regarding the claim it's a hoax:
I promise its 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 it self say 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, a 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 proivde for Victoria. They have not and would not do anything to hurt Victoria in any way.