Tests Reveal Mouse-in-Soup Hoax; Pair Charged

A woman who said she found a mouse in her soup at a Cracker Barrel restaurant last month made up the hoax, the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said Tuesday.

Carla Patterson, 36, and her son, Ricky Patterson, 20, both of the 100 block of Westview Drive in Hampton, were charged Tuesday with attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit a felony after they tried to get Cracker Barrel to give them money in the hoax, said Howard Gwynn, Newport News' commonwealth's attorney. . . .

[C]racker Barrel had undertaken an in-depth investigation as soon as the Pattersons said they found the mouse.

But when the laboratory analysis of the small, black mouse came back, Davis said, it was clear that something was amiss. "It was a very methodical investigation, and we knew that something was very wrong," she said.

For one thing, she said, the autopsy showed that the mouse had not drowned, and was not cooked. The mouse did not have any soup in its internal system. The mouse, Davis said, died of a skull fracture.

The pair had demanded $500,000 from Cracker Barrel. Now they're cooling off in jail. Details here from Virginia's DailyPress.com.