KFC claim that scarred girl Victoria Wilcher asked to leave still unconfirmed

A woman says KFC asked granddaughter to leave because of facial scars from dog attack were 'distracting to customers' but KFC has been unable to verify the claim (KTRK)

Fried chicken chain KFC said a franchised restaurant in Mississippi has hired an investigator to look into claims that an employee asked a 3-year-old girl and family members to leave because injuries she suffered in a pit bull mauling disturbed customers.

KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said the company is concerned that the Jackson, Mississippi, restaurant's internal investigation couldn't verify the incident. An outside investigator will conduct an independent investigation, Maynard said.

KFC's commitment of $30,000 to help with the child's medical bills will not be affected by the investigation's outcome, Maynard said.

Allegations that Victoria Wilcher was asked to leave the restaurant were made earlier this month on the Facebook site Victoria's Victories, which has followed the child's recovery from the attack. KFC posted an apology the next morning and asked for details of the alleged incident.

Teri Rials Bates, the child's aunt, runs the Victoria's Victories site. A posting Tuesday at Victoria's Victories denied the claim was a hoax.

"I promise it's not a hoax, I never thought any of this would blow up the way it has," the post said.

"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 posting said.

No one immediately responded to a message seeking comment that was sent through the Facebook page.

Earlier, the child's grandmother, Kelly Mullins, recounted the alleged KFC incident to Jackson television station WAPT-TV.

She said the child had just been to see a doctor and stopped at the restaurant. After they ordered, an employee approached, she said.

"They just told us, they said, 'We have to ask you to leave because her face is disrupting our customers,'" Mullins told the TV station.

In her posts, Bates said the child was attacked by three pit bulls while visiting her grandfather in April and suffered injuries to her face. Since then, she has undergone reconstructive surgery, Bates said.

"She had a broken upper and lower jaw, broken nose, cheek bones and right eye socket. She lost her right eye completely and the ability to move the right side of her face. They have reconstructed her bottom jaw but cant do anymore surgeries until she grows new bone in her face due to the fact that the broken pieces are to small to piece together. She is currently at home with a feeding tube, but doing amazing," a May 21 post says.

Reports say the incident at KFC took place May 15. The family's Facebook page currently shows no post explaining the incident.

The Laurel Leader-Call in Mississippi reports:

"The source said surveillance videos show that at no time on the 15th were any people children in the store who match the description of Victoria Wilcher or Mullins. The tapes were viewed in both the Meadowbrook and Woodrow Wilson KFC locations in Jackson, the source said."

The paper also claims sources say no orders that day match the one Victoria's grandmother says she placed. A GoFundMe site has raised more than $135,000 since the attack.

Reports also say Victoria's family originally reported the discrimination took place at a KFC that is not open.

"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," Bates wrote on the GoFundMe page.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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u.s. & worlddog attackMississippi