The story of a little girl being thrown out of a KFC restaurant after an employee said her scarred face was 'scaring the other diners' was made up by the girl's grandmother, it's claimed.
Victoria Wilcher, who was left disfigured after being attacked by dogs, made global headlines earlier this month after her family posted a photo entitled 'Does this face look scary to you?' on a Facebook page called Victoria's Victories.
The allegations against a Jackson, Mississippi, branch of KFC drew widespread condemnation and prompted the fast food chain to donate $30,000 towards Victoria's charity.
But an independent review has concluded that the evidence in the case points towards the story being a hoax.
Victoria's grandmother, Kelly Mullins, made the allegations after she claimed that she took the girl to KFC after a hospital visit.
But the investigation has found her claims are peppered inconsistencies.
After reviewing surveillance tape, the investigators have found that the woman and the little girl didn't even visit the restaurant that day.
The grandmother had also previously said that she 'ordered a sweet tea and mashed potatoes and gravy' at the restaurant.
But a review of transactions found those items weren't included in the same order at any point.
A source told the Laurel Leader-Call newspaper: "It just didn't happen."
Victoria HAD been injured in April when three of her grandfather's pit bull dogs ran into his home before jumping on her.
They dragged her outside into the backyard, where they continued to maul her before her grandfather, Donald Mullins, and his girlfriend, Rita Tompkins, attempted to stop the attack. Mullins then shot two of the dogs.
Victoria was rushed to hospital with a shattered top and bottom jaw, broken cheekbones and eyesockets, a broken nose, lost her right eye.
She also lost the ability to move the right side of her face. Mullins and Tompkins were arrested on charges of child endangerment and their eight surviving pit bulls were seized by Animal Control officers.
Victoria was in hospital for a month after the attack and upon her return home, she continued with physical therapy and wore a feeding tube.
Before the story hit the headlines, a Gofundme.com site for Victoria had raised only $600, but since then more than $135,000 has been raised.
Dick West, who owns the local Jackson KFC franchises, posted on Facebook about the incident on Saturday.
He said: "When the allegation was first made, KFC pledged $30,000 to go to medical expenses and started an investigation to find the truth.
"They have pledged the money even if it is proven that the incident never happened. At this point their story is full of holes. Any thinking person who follows their timeline can see it. The event at KFC never happened."
It's unclear if Kelly Mullins will face criminal charges if found to have made up the incident.