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Suspect In Custody, Missing Child Found Dead

KSAL Staff - February 18, 2014 8:58 pm

Thousands pay tribute to slain Mo. 10-year-old

Thousands pay tribute to slain Mo. 10-year-old

UPDATE: A middle-school football coach has been charged with first-degree murder in the abduction and death of a 10-year-old girl in southwest Missouri.

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson filed criminal charges late Wednesday afternoon against 45-year-old Craig Michael Wood of Springfield.

He is charged with grabbing fourth-grader Hailey Owens off a neighborhood street on Tuesday afternoon, just blocks from her home.

Wood was arrested and jailed Tuesday night in connection with the girl’s death but not initially charged. A body believed to be that of the missing girl was found Wednesday at a Springfield home owned by Wood.

Wood has worked for the Springfield School District since 1998 as a substitute teacher, coach and teacher’s aide. Police say he and the girl apparently didn’t know each other.

Police Chief Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams says search crews found a body they believe is Hailey Owens inside a suspect’s Springfield home on Wednesday.

Witnesses told police that Hailey was taken by a man in a pickup truck Tuesday evening.

Forty-five-year-old grade school coach Craig Michael Wood is jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder in Hailey’s disappearance. Wood was arrested late Tuesday inside a vehicle parked outside his house. Formal charges have not been filed.

The Springfield School District says Wood is a coach and teacher’s aide at a school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Hailey did not attend that school, and Williams says the two apparently didn’t know each other.

UPDATE: Police have a suspect in custody in the abduction of a 10-year-old girl in southwest Missouri, and the girls’s family says her body has been found.

At 4:48 Tuesday afternoon 10-year-old Hailey Owens was approached by an unknown suspect and then pulled into his vehicle. Witnesses ran after the vehicle, and were able to get a license number.

Later in the evening 45-year-old Craig Michael Wood was taken into custody. He is currently in jail in Springfield, and according to online jail records is being held on a charge of 1st degree murder.

Hailey’s family has told multiple media outlets, including a reporter from KMBC television in Kansas City who was at the home when police arrived with the news, that her body has been found. No other specific details were immediately available.

Amber Alerts were issued in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

UPDATE: Police have a suspect in custody in the abduction of a 10-year-old girl in southwest Missouri, but the girl remains missing.

Springfield police released a statement just before midnight Wednesday saying dozens of officers were still searching for Hailey Owens, but that a man had been taken into custody on kidnapping charges.

The suspect’s name hasn’t been released. Police say he was found inside a vehicle at a local home.

Witnesses told investigators a man in a gold-colored 2008 Ford Ranger drove down the street several times before approaching Hailey and pulling her into his truck around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Amber Alerts were issued in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Hailey is 5-foot-2, about 90 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing jean shorts and purple sandals.

ORIGINAL:

A missing Missouri child prompts an Amber Alert in Kansas.

Authorities report that at 4:48 PM the Springfield, Missouri, Police Department received a report of a child abduction. It appeared that 10-year-old Hailey Owens was approached by an unknown suspect and then pulled into his vehicle. The vehicle left the location southbound.

The vehicle was last seen in the 3200 Ablock of W Lombard Street in Springfield. It was headed southbound on Scenic from Grand.

The suspect vehicle is a gold 2008 Ford Ranger with possible MO plate number 1YF454 or 1YS454. It was driven by a white male.

Hailey is 5′ 2″ tall and weighs 90 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. Hailey has pierced ears and was wearing blue jean shorts and purple sandals.

If you see this vehicle, or have any information, call 911.

Online: Kansas Amber Alert

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