“Hailey’s Law” could mean quicker AMBER Alerts

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(KTVI) – The parents of a murdered girld are taking steps to change how missing-child alerts are issued.

On February 18, 2014, 10-year-old Hailey Owens was walking just a few blocks from her home in Springfield, Missouri. Witnesses saw someone pull the girl into a truck just before 5 p.m. Family and neighbors said news of the abduction was on social and broadcast media almost immediately. But, an official AMBER alert from police took much longer.

“It was late in my eyes,” said Owens’ mother, Stacey Barfield. “I mean, everybody’s like what’s going on? Even my phone went off, and I’m like, ‘Seriously? This is like two hours after she got abducted.’”

Police found Owens later that night. Investigators said she had been shot to death, and they discovered her body in the home of Craig Michael Wood.

Police said the AMBER alert process is time-consuming. Jeff Barfield, Owens’ stepfather, told Springfield’s KY3-TV the delay is a problem that missing children just cannot live with.

“We don’t blame law enforcement. They did the best that they could with what was in place at the time. So, what we need to do is we need to focus on what law enforcement has to deal with to make it a better system.”

Missouri Congressman Eric Burlison (R – Greene County) sponsored House Bill 2248. Stoney McCleery is helping Burlison push a plan that he believes would add some automation to the AMBER Alert system and reduce paperwork time by as much as 30 minutes.

As for Wood, he is now facing a growing list of charges including murder, rape and sodomy.

To see a copy of the bill, visit Facebook and the Hailey’s Law Community Page.

Friend me on Facebook:  facebook.com/KimHudsonTV
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/kimhudsontv
Email me:  kim.hudson@tvstl.com

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News