posted on May, 13 2005 @ 03:24 PM
Finger Traced to Woman Who Blamed Wendy's
The mysterious finger that a woman claimed to have found in a bowl of Wendy's chili came from an associate of her husband who lost the finger in an
industrial accident, police said Friday.
The discovery of the finger's owner marks a significant break in a case that has confounded authorities for nearly two months, ever since Anna Ayala
claimed she bit down on the well-manicured, 1 1/2-inch finger in a mouthful of her steamy chili.
The case became the talk of the Internet and late-night talk shows and spawned numerous bizarre tips and theories about the source of the finger,
including one about a woman whose fingertip was bitten off by a spotted leopard kept as a pet.
Authorities said last month that they believed the story was a hoax, and they arrested the 39-year-old Ayala at her home in Las Vegas and charged her
with attempted grand larceny for allegedly trying to shake down Wendy's. But whose finger was in the chili remained a mystery.
The owner was traced through a tip made to a Wendy's hot line, Davis said. He said the man lost the finger in December, and authorities "positively
confirmed that this subject was in fact the source of the fingertip." The nature of the industrial accident was not disclosed.
Police believe the man gave the finger fragment to Ayala's husband, Jaime Plascencia, who was arrested this month on identity-theft charges unrelated
to the Wendy's case.
Wendy's has offered a $100,000 reward and has said it has lost millions in sales since Ayala made the claim while visiting her family in San Jose.
Dozens of employees at the company's Northern California franchises also have been laid off.
The things people will do for money. She went from thinking that she was getting a free ride and lots of money to most likely a nice jail sentence and
a hefty fine.