In KFC's view, it really was a hoax: After commissioning two investigations into the story of a disfigured little girl supposedly asked to leave one of its restaurants, both internal and independent probes found no evidence the incident actually happened, the chain said yesterday. Even so, a KFC spokesperson says, the company will donate $30,000 to help the family of 3-year-old Victoria Wilcher with medical bills, the AP reports. "Like the rest of America, the KFC family has been moved by the story of Victoria's injuries and recovery," he says. Still, Victoria's grandmother hasn't budged from her claim that she brought the child to a KFC in Jackson, Miss., on May 15, after an appointment at a nearby children's hospital, and an employee asked them to leave because Victoria's face was scaring the other customers.
But sources recently started blowing holes in the story, which wasn't made public until nearly a month after it allegedly happened. Hannon Food Services, which operates the KFC franchise in question, spent hundreds of hours reviewing surveillance video and interviewing employees, and also hired an outside investigator for a second probe. KFC says it considers the matter closed, but an attorney who spoke on behalf of the Wilcher family yesterday said they want the investigation to continue, and Victoria's grandmother yesterday told the Clarion-Ledger, "I know the truth and the truth has to come out at some point." But as Time points out, the family's Facebook and GoFundMe pages for Victoria were both taken down yesterday, and CNN notes that GoFundMe's CEO has offered to refund donations. Victoria received her injuries when she was mauled by her grandfather's dogs in April. (Read more KFC stories.)