Case closed: KFC confirms employee did NOT kick out 3-year-old pit bull attack victim from Mississippi restaurant
Well, it’s over.
Hours after a Mississippi family reassured the public Tuesday that their story of a little 3-year-old disfigured girl getting kicked out of a Jackson KFC was true, the fast food giant confirmed that two different investigations proved it was a hoax.
Kelly Mullin originally told WAPT-TV earlier this month that her granddaughter, Victoria Wilcher, was told to leave because the girl’s scarred face was “disrupting our customers.”
The story pitting the little girl against the fast food eatery went viral quickly, bringing news stories from around the nation and earning the family $135,000 on a gofundme.com website dedicated to raising cash for the wounded child. Dr. Frank Stile, a Las Vegas plastic surgeon, pledged to do surgeries for free for the girl after learning of her plight.
But KFC, who pledged $30,000 to the girl’s family for her care, easily debunked the tall tale, finding, for example, that Mullins and little Victoria never set foot in a Jackson KFC on May 15, much less were kicked out. One investigation was carried out by KFC, while a third party did a more thorough review.
“Neither revealed any evidence that the incident occurred and we consider the investigation closed,” KFC said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
The family had earlier posted on a Facebook page dedicated to tracking the girl’s recovery that the story was not a hoax.
“It is not over until KFC releases a statement,” the family wrote.
But after KFC closed the case, the family dismantled the Facebook page and could not be reached for comment. And the gofundme.com campaign page for the girl was suspended and refunds offered to those who had donated, CNN reported.
"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," a statement from CEO Brad Damphousse said.
The Laurel Leader-Call broke the story of the hoax Monday night after unnamed sources gave some of the damning details the KFC third party investigation had found.
What is not in dispute is what happened to little Victoria: She was mauled in April by three of her grandfather’s pit bulls during a visit to his home.
The man, Kelly Mullins’ ex-husband Donald Mullins, and his girlfriend, Rita Tompkins, were busted for child endangerment after the April 10 incident.
Stile, the doctor who pledged to do surgeries to help the girl heal, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday that despite rumors the story was a hoax, he “remains committed to helping Victoria."
“Our focus is on this child’s well-being and her future care,” he wrote.
And despite their findings, KFC said it wants to help the disfigured blond-haired, blue-eyed girl.
“We are honoring our commitment to make a $30,000 donation to assist with Victoria’s medical bills,” KFC wrote in its statement. “We hope everyone keeps Victoria in their thoughts and prayers. She will certainly be in ours.”
I'm really glad that KFC is still honoring their $30,000 commitment to Victoria. The girl shouldn't be punished for what her family did, she didn't ask for any of this to happen.