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Amber Alert ends in Missouri girl's death

By: KAKE News / Associated Press - Email
By: KAKE News / Associated Press - Email
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Hailey Owens
Craig Michael Woods

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Springfield, Mo. -- The body of a kidnapped Missouri girl has been found, and a 45-year-old man is jailed for her murder.

Ten-year-old Hailey Owens was abducted Tuesday evening while walking to a friend's home. Witnesses told investigators that a man in a gold-colored 2008 Ford Ranger drove down the street several times before approaching Hailey around 5 p.m. Tuesday. Police say she ignored the man at first, then began talking to him before he allegedly pulled her into his vehicle.

Witnesses called police and one even tried to follow the truck, but lost the vehicle. Amber Alerts were later issued in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Police located a suspect around 8:30 p.m. Police Chief Paul Williams said the man was sitting in his truck outside of his Springfield residence. They took him into custody, and searched the home. A body believed to be Owens' was found inside.

Willliams said officers are now processing multiple crime scenes.

The suspect has been identified as 45-year-old Craig Michael Wood. He was booked for first-degree murder.

The Springfield School District says Wood is a coach and teacher's aide at a school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Hailey did not attend that school, and Williams says the two apparently didn't know each other.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Previous story - Tuesday, February 18:

Missouri authorities have issued an Amber Alert for a missing girl. The alert has been expanded to Kansas and Oklahoma.

The Springfield Police Department says Hailey Owens was abducted just before 5 p.m. Tuesday. At midnight, the department tweeted an update: "Suspect and vehicle located in South Springfield; abducted girl remains missing."

She is described as white, around 5 feet 2 inches tall, and weighing 90 pounds. She has brown hair, brown eyes and pierced ears. She was last seen wearing blue jean shorts and purple sandals.

Police said they were searching for a gold 2008 Ford Ranger with Missouri license plate 1YF454 that was seen leaving the area. Police have not released a description of her alleged abductor.

Witnesses told investigators that a white man in a gold-colored 2008 Ford Ranger drove down the street several times before approaching Hailey and pulling her into his truck.

Neighbor Carlos Edwards tells the Springfield News-Leader that he ran after the truck as his wife tried to get the license plate number after seeing the abduction.

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