Police: Little girl’s body found in suspect Craig Wood’s home

SPRINGFIELD, MO (KTVI) – The Springfield police chief says the body of a young girl was found inside Craig Michael Wood’s home early Wednesday morning, but stopped short of positively identifying the child as missing Hailey Owens, 10.

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

Woods was arrested several hours later. He has been charged with murder. 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 and found the child’s body inside.

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.

Police plan another update at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

5 comments

  • dawn f

    looking at the headlines, could have been Detroit news, so sad about Hailey Owens. I want to know how anyone tried to stop this man?We teach our kids stranger danger, and we also teach adults that if they bring attention to the abductor ie yelling running towards,they should let go and leave. Id like to know what these eye witnesses did other than look and write down info. In today’s society where virtually everyone has a cell phone, how did this not get immediately called in, or the abductor followed while calling. I understand they didn’t know what weapons he had on him, but they knew he abducted a little girl wasn’t that enough to override that fear? certainly would be for me.. Such a shame.

    • Diane Schwartz Sato Kodelja

      Witnesses did try to help… it happened too fast. When they realized what was going on…he was reaching for her… they made a run for her. One guy said he was yelling at her to stay away from the truck and at the suspect to get away from her. A witness that ran for her described that the suspect had yanked her in, thrown her over himself and into his passenger seat and took off down the street, in about 10 seconds flat. They couldn’t catch up with his truck on foot…one guy did jump in his vehicle and chased his truck but the suspect was able to shake him off his tail. No one just stood around and jotted down a license plate. The accuracy of the license plate and descriptions of the suspect and his vehicle are because of the valiant efforts of these witnesses, who must feel miserable for having been ‘THIS CLOSE’ to preventing this tragedy and saving Hailey. My heart goes out to the guy who tried to follow the suspect’s truck…and my hat is off to him, as well.

    • Diane Schwartz Sato Kodelja

      Also, 911 was contacted by one witness while her husband took off after the truck (on foot, after making a run for Hailey). Police & state troopers were involved IMMEDIATELY, I believe within an hour or two the Amber alert and FBI were as well. Please know that people did what they should have and could have…it’s small, but some comfort.

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