04-15-2005, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Local Time: 01:05 AM
The chili...er, the plot...thickens!
As if that disgusting Wendy's story couldn't get any more bizarre...
LAS VEGAS - A woman who lost part of her finger in a leopard attack believes it was her body part that allegedly showed up a month later in a bowl of fast-food chili in California.
A lawyer for Sandy Allman, 59, said she wants to participate in any DNA testing of the finger, which she said she last saw packed in ice in a Las Vegas emergency room. Doctors told her it could not be reattached, and she does not know what happened to it after that, lawyer Philip Sheldon said.
The hospital said it cannot account for the 3/4-inch fingertip, which Allman lost Feb. 23 in the attack at an exotic animal compound at her home in rural Pahrump, about 60 miles west of Las Vegas.
Las Vegas resident Anna Ayala claimed she found a 1 1/2-inch fingertip on March 22 while eating at a Wendy's in San Jose, Calif.
The two women have "absolutely no connection," Sheldon said.
He said Allman realizes her lost fingertip is only half as long as the one that Ayala claims to have found.
San Jose police said DNA tests would be taken to determine the finger's rightful owner.
Ayala, 39, was not considered a suspect, San Jose police spokeswoman Gina Tepoorten said.
Ayala was visiting relatives in San Jose on Wednesday and could not be reached for comment. Her son, Guadalupe Reyes, 18, told The Associated Press that Ayala doesn't know Allman.
Ayala had filed a claim with the Wendy's franchise owner over her alleged discovery, but her attorney Jeffrey Janoff said Wednesday that she had decided not to pursue a lawsuit because the scrutiny by police and reporters had been "very difficult for her emotionally."
Court records show Ayala has a history of making claims against corporations, including a former employer, General Motors and a fast-food restaurant.
Wendy's maintains the finger did not enter the food in its ingredients. It has offered a $50,000 reward in the case and was keeping open a hot line for tips, spokesman Denny Lynch said.
Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center confirmed Allman's treatment after the leopard attack, but said there was no record of the fingertip in the Pathology Department, where it normally would have been taken.
There was also no record of Ayala as a patient or employee, spokeswoman Glenda McCartney said.