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.
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