SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Employees of Wing Shack are outraged after its owners skipped town, leaving them without paychecks. Some of the 10 employees shared their stories at the ransacked store on Wednesday.
"I'm out of a job," said former Wing Shack manager Tracy Graves. "I've got a kid; it's almost Christmas. What am I going to do?"
"I'm going to wake up every day and be pretty upset about it," said former Wing Shack employee William Miller.
There is disbelief and anger coming from former employees of Wing Shack.
"They just disappeared without a trace," said Graves.
"Why? I mean, seriously! No morals? No heart?" asked Miller.
Employees of Wing Shack were told they were going to be closed on Sunday because the floors were going to be redone. On Monday, Wing Shack was still closed, so the manager got the landlord to let them in.
What they found inside was startling. The inside had been gutted.
"It's gone. Everything is gone. The food is gone. All the cooking equipment is gone," said Graves.
Owner Scott Taylor was nowhere to be found.
"I can't believe that he did this," Graves said. "No warning. No nothing. He just left."
Above Wing Shack is an apartment where Taylor's business associate, Steve Brady, lived. It was emptied out as well.
"I tried his cell number and it had been changed. I tried the co-owner's number and his number had been changed," Graves said.
Graves says employees hadn't been paid since Nov. 11.
"People that have their own rent, their own bills, they have kids to feed. Now I don't even know if we will be able to get unemployment."
Miller said his paycheck was more than just about bills.
"That was the paycheck to pay for my son's Christmas."
Former waiters, bartenders, and cooks stared at the mess left behind. They can't help but to wonder why the owners left.
When asked what they would say to Taylor or Brady, Graves replied, " I would just ask them why. Why they couldn't give us at least a little bit of notice? We could have been looking for other jobs."
Now the employees have to figure out what's next.
"I'm lost," said Miller. "Now I have to go somewhere and hopefully find something quick in order to give my son a Christmas.
"It definitely wasn't on the top of my Christmas list," said Graves.
We tried to track down Taylor using an address from his business registration with the Secretary of State's office, but he no longer lives there. Meanwhile, employees are coming together and hope to file a civil case against Taylor Enterprises in the coming weeks.
Another Scott Taylor, owner Dickey's BBQ Pit, is not the same Scott Taylor that owns Wing Shack.