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Craig Wood charged in death of Hailey Owens

SPRINGFIELD, MO (KTVI) - A man has been charged after the body of missing Hailey Owens was found inside his home early Wednesday morning.

Craig M. Wood has been charged with 1st degree murder, armed criminal action and kidnapping in the death of Hailey.

Hailey went missing Tuesday afternoon after she was allegedly abducted by Wood while playing outside.

Woods was arrested several hours later. The Springfield police chief says during their investigation, Wood refused to answer question.

Early Wednesday morning, police obtained a search warrant for Wood's home.

Police say Hailey Owens' body was found in Wood's basement in a garbage bag inside a plastic storage tote. She had an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Police also found marks that show she was tied up at some point.

FOX 2 has learned that Wood was a paraprofessional, or teacher's aide, in the Springfield School District.  He also served as an athletic coach.  District officials say Wood has worked for the district since 1998.

Superintendent Norm Ridder says Hailey was a student at Westport Elementary School while Wood worked at Pleasant View K-8 School.

"Students and staff at three of our schools are coping with this situation. To support these school communities directly impacted by this tragedy, I have assigned additional counseling staff and school police officers to be on hand until further notice,"  Ridder said in a news release.

Read Probable Cause Statement

Several people will turn their porch light on Wednesday night in respect for this little girls family: Porch Lights for Hailey Owens

Message from the Springfield Police Department:

We would like to thank all of you, the Springfield community, as well as the dozens of communities near and far that helped spread the word of Hailey's abduction. You often witness the strength of a community in the way they handle a tragic situation, and we couldn't be more proud of the citizens' concern and assistance in this matter. We have also received countless messages of your encouragement and support, and for that, we are truly grateful. We certainly wish more than anything that this event could have had a different conclusion. If there's any positive news in this at all, it's that the suspect is no longer on the streets of Springfield. Please keep the family and friends of Hailey in your thoughts and prayers. #‎HaileyOwens

133 comments

  • Mary

    This article states:
    Hailey went missing Tuesday afternoon after she was allegedly abducted by Wood while playing outside.

    Woods was arrested several hours later. The Springfield police chief says during their investigation, Wood refused to answer question.

    Early Wednesday morning, police obtained a search warrant for Wood’s home.

    Why did the police wait until Wednesday morning to search Wood’s home? What if the victim had been inside bleeding to death while some judge is being tracked down ?
    If it takes this long to get a search warrant, something needs to be changed. Like “no search warrant necessary in the case of a missing kidnapped person”, especially with eye witnesses.

    • Dave the Cop

      Ok, even though it won’t do any good and will get picked apart, I’m going to summarize the events: around 5pm the call comes in, over the next hour or so, the police get the information needed to enter the Amber Alert, the license plate DID NOT belong/check to the subject so they contacted the registered owner of the truck, they obtained the driver information from the regestered owner, including his address, they watched the address from about 7 for anyone inside the address, at about 8 they observed THE SUSPECT arriving at the address, to which they DETAINED him and ESCORTED him into the residence under EXTIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES. This allowed for a sweep WITHOUT A WARRANT which is very limited. They did not find Hailey or anyone else in the residence but TOOK HIM INTO CUSTODY, QUESTIONED HIM AND BOOKED HIM, MEANWHILE APPLIED FOR A SEARCH WARRANT. When the search warrant was signed by a judge (the law), THEN they did a more thorough search (30+ officers) and subsequently found poor Hailey. Kudos to all involved in the rapid deployment and removal of this threat!

  • sertories08@yahoo.com

    I totally agree with you Robin, however actually .. If anyone even tries to do this to my kid , the police better come get me and the predator that hurt or killed my baby. Or they won’t make it to a live predator. I can not wrap my brain around adults harming babies no way can I even come close. I lived through my experience in the late sixties, And I may not be able to protect my child 24/7 but the predator has to sleep sometime. So In short I’m saying DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT MY KID. I never leave him alone in the yard, I never let him in front without being right by me, I don’t just drop him off at the bus stop , I don’t just run real quick into the gas station. He is 8 and so Ill be right there ready to put you to sleep and i DONT miss. I see parents leaving their kids alone all the time even younger walking around , ummm HELLO? Its not safe PERIOD. Stop harming kids ! and also STOP leaving them alone parents seriously !!!!!!

  • Jess

    Send his @ss to general population. Let the other convicts who Do not hurt children deal with him. Let his torture begin!! And I hope it’s long and painful!

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