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Hailey Owens kidnapped and killed in Springfield, Missouri

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Published on Feb 20, 2014

Police have arrested the man they believe to have kidnapped and killed 10-year-old Hailey Owens in Springfield, Missouri on Tuesday evening.

Craig Wood, a 45-year-old football coach and teacher's aide, was taken into custody Tuesday night after a witness to the alleged kidnapping of Owens gave police the license plate number to his 2008 Ford Ranger.

Wood was seen driving up and down West Lombard Street several times before stopping to talk to the girl who was walking home after visiting a friend. Reports said Owens initially kept walking, but when she stopped, Wood snatched her up off the street, and drove off. Others on the street followed him on foot, and one witness pursued him in a car, but Wood was too far ahead and got away.

Later that evening, police staked his house and found Wood in his parked truck with a roll of duct tape in his hands. He went with the officers without resistance. Later, a search warrant was obtained and the following morning, investigators inspected his home. They found evidence of foul play, and detected the smell of bleach emanating from the basement.

When the went down to investigate the area, they found bottles of bleach, and then two plastic storage totes stacked. The upper bin contained documents and in the lower bin, they found the body of a girl, wrapped in plastic bags. There was a gunshot wound in the base of her skull and ligation marks on her arms.

Wood worked at Pleasant View K-8 School, though Owens attended another school, and there does not seem to be a connection between the suspect and victim. Wood had a non-violent criminal background; he was charged with minor drug violations several years ago.

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