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Carlee Russell Terminated from Spa Job Amid Kidnapping Story Suspicions: Coworkers Are ‘Pissed’

Carlee Russell, the Alabama woman who gained attention for her disappearance and subsequent return 48 hours later, has been fired from her position at Woodhouse Spa in Birmingham. The spa’s owner, Stuart Rome, confirmed that Russell, 25, was terminated on July 21.

The incident unfolded when Russell went missing on July 13 after alerting authorities about spotting a toddler on I-459 South near mile marker 11. However, she reappeared on her own on July 15.

Rome expressed that Russell’s former colleagues are unhappy with the suspicion surrounding the kidnapping story, especially as officials have openly expressed doubts about the case.

“It was really devastating for them thinking a coworker was abducted,” Rome said. “The following day, Saturday, it was the busiest day of the week, and they had to plug along and work and in the off times pass out flyers and other things.”

He continued, “As the information came out that there were some questionable things, we’ve been a little pissed off, mainly because so many people took so much time out to search.”

According to Rome, the spa has faced severe criticism on social media and has been inundated with one-star reviews as a result of its association with Russell. “Basically, we’ve spent the last day battling to get things deleted,” he said. “Comments. I’ve had to shut down my comment section on Instagram and Facebook page which hurts us because we do a lot of marketing there. We’re just trying to keep the doors open.”

During a press conference held on Wednesday, July 19, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis voiced doubts regarding Carlee Russell’s disappearance. While Russell asserted that she was abducted and held captive by a man and woman in an 18-wheeler, Derzis acknowledged that certain aspects of her account seemed questionable.

“We’ve asked to interview Carlee a second time but have not been granted that request,” he said at the news conference. “There are many questions left to be answered, but only Carlee can provide those answers.”

The chief further stated that the majority of Carlee’s initial statement given to investigators could not be verified. Nevertheless, he emphasized that there is no indication of any threat to public safety related to the case.

In addition, Derzis revealed that Russell had conducted “highly unusual” online searches prior to her disappearance. These searches encompassed topics such as Amber Alerts, the kidnapping thriller Taken, and methods to steal money from a cash register.

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