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Last Updated: Friday, 13 May, 2005, 19:57 GMT 20:57 UK
US police identify chilli finger
The Wendy's restaurant in San Jose, California where the incident happened
The reward Wendy's offered for information has paid off
A finger allegedly found in a bowl of chilli at a Wendy's restaurant has been identified, US police have said.

It belonged to a family friend of Anna Ayala, the woman who said she discovered the finger as she ate in a restaurant in San Jose, California.

Police say the finger had been lost in an industrial accident in December.

Ms Ayala, 39, was arrested last month on larceny charges. Her claim cost Wendy's millions of dollars in lost sales.

Mystery solved

The finger's owner was identified after a call to Wendy's reward hotline last week, San Jose police chief Rob Davies said.

"The jig is up, the puzzle pieces are beginning to fit together and the truth is being exposed," he added.

Ms Ayala claimed she had bitten down on the finger which she described as "kind of hard, crunchy".

She said the incident had caused her "great emotional distress".

She has since withdrawn her lawsuit against Wendy's.

The fast food chain has insisted all along that the finger did not originate at one of its establishments as no staff had lost a digit and no suppliers had reported any hand accidents.

It says it has had to sack employees because of the loss in sales.

How the finger of suspicion led police to Anna Ayala

US arrest over chilli finger case
22 Apr 05 |  Americas
Severed finger found in ice cream
06 May 05 |  Americas

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