Hailey Owens’ Body Found, Suspect Was School Employee

By: Amanda Crum - February 19, 2014

Hailey Owens, the 10-year old girl who went missing while walking near her home in Springfield, Missouri on Tuesday afternoon, was found lifeless in a vehicle belonging to a public school employee late Tuesday night.

Craig Wood has been arrested and charged with first degree murder after police tracked his vehicle–a gold Ford Ranger, which was described by a witness–to his residence. Dozens of law enforcement officials had been searching for Owens, and an Amber Alert went out across several states after she was reported missing.

Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Norm Ridder released a statement on Wednesday about the tragic news and about Wood, whose employment with the school district has been suspended pending an investigation.

“The suspect in this case, Craig Michael Wood, was arrested by Springfield Police Department. Wood has been employed by SPS since Aug. 18, 1998. He works as a paraprofessional and athletic coach at Pleasant View K-8 School. His employment has been suspended until this matter is resolved,” reads the statement. “Hailey is a student at Westport Elementary School and last year she attended Bowerman Elementary School. I offer my support to Hailey’s family and to our SPS community. 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. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement officials as their investigation continues. Because this is an ongoing investigation, I will not be making any further comments about the situation at this time.”

Police say they believe the abduction was random.

Image via Thinkstock

About the Author

Amanda CrumAmanda Crum is a writer and artist from Kentucky. She's a fan of Edward Gorey, Hunter S. Thompson, and horror movies. You can follow her on Google:+Amanda Crum

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  • Brian Powers

    Don’t NEED a trial!!!….We can just tie him to a tree and torcher him,,,First thing I’d do is see how he would react by shooting him in the knee-caps with my air-rifle that shoots pellets at a 1000 ft/sec. using the pointed ones. until he collapse from pain, then put him out of his low-life misery!!!.

    • Retiree

      The word is ‘torture’, moron.

      • Deb

        We are talking about a little girl who has been murdered, does it really matter if a word is spelled correctly or not? You understood what he meant.

        • Peter Gozinya

          It’s not Brian’s fault that he’s a dog and he doesn’t know how to spell.

      • Mike

        I like the idea of putting a torch to his ass…

  • jlb

    What the hell is a 10 year old doing out walking alone blocks from her home to a friends house, parents should be arrested too

  • MJS

    Please get your facts straight, Ms. Crum. Hailey wasn’t found “lifeless in a vehicle” as your piece claims. She was found wrapped in two garbage bags and stuffed into a plastic storage bin in Woods’ basement.