JACKSON, Miss. — Fried chicken chain KFC said two different investigations have not found any evidence 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 Tuesday that the company considered the matter closed after an internal investigation by the franchise restaurant in Jackson and an independent probe. Maynard said the company would honor its commitment to donate $30,000 to help with medical bills for Victoria Wilcher.
“Like the rest of America, the KFC family has been moved by the story of Victoria’s injuries and recovery,” Maynard said. “We hope everyone keeps Victoria in their thoughts and prayers. She will certainly be in ours.”
Allegations that Victoria was asked to leave the restaurant were made earlier this month on the Facebook site Victoria’s Victories, which has followed her recovery from the April attack.
In a statement, Hannon Food Services, which operates the restaurant, said the company was deeply troubled by the allegation.
As part of its investigation, Hannon said it spent hundreds of hours reviewing surveillance video, interviewing employees and hiring the outside investigator. The company said it would reach out to the child’s family for additional discussions.
Jackson attorney Bill Kellum, in a statement Tuesday afternoon on behalf of the child’s family, said Victoria’s grandmother, Kelly Mullins, stands by her claim of what happened at the restaurant.
“Victoria’s family appreciates the actions of KFC in their investigation of this matter. They look forward to assisting KFC in what we hope will be an ongoing investigation,” he said.
“It is deeply disappointing that other parties have taken opportunity to attack Victoria through social and news media outlets. Victoria is an innocent child with very real physical and emotional scars. The focus of her family has always been, and will always be, on Victoria and making her whole again,” Kellum said.