A he-said, she-said, KFC-said story for the ages: the family of Victoria Wilcher—the three-year old girl who was mauled by pit bulls and then allegedly kicked out of a Kentucky Fried Chicken—says the story is true, despite a long investigation revealing that Victoria was almost certainly never asked to leave the KFC.
Last night, Mississippi newspaper Laurel Leader-Call said it could find no evidence that Victoria and her family were even in the KFC in Jackson, Miss. on the day they were allegedly booted from it. An anonymous source who reviewed security camera footage and order history told the paper that neither matched up with the story told by Wilcher's family.
But Wilcher's family isn't backing down. In a posting on the Victoria's Victories Facebook page, someone from the family—likely her aunt Teri Rials Bates—responded to the Leader-Call's report:
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 provide for Victoria. They have not and would not do anything to hurt Victoria in any way.
The family has incentive to hold its ground, seeing as they have raised nearly $200,000 for plastic surgery and care. But putting its faith in KFC—"It is not over until KFC releases a statement"—may not exactly be a winning strategy: the manager of the KFC location says he has not been able to "verify the incident" and has hired a third-party investigator to close the matter.
Regardless, KFC—the corporation—maintains it will donate $30,000 to Victoria and her family even if it turns out that the story is made up. GoFundMe contributors might not be as kind.
UPDATE: According to TMZ, KFC has concluded what seems obvious: the story is a hoax. The Victoria's Victories Facebook page has also been taken down, though the GoFundMe page remains active. "It is not over until KFC releases a statement," said Victoria's aunt earlier today, and that should figures to be forthcoming.
[image via Facebook, h/t Buzzfeed]