Tragically, Missouri police have released a statement which says they are positive they have found the body of Hailey Owens, age 10, who had been kidnapped only one day earlier from the front of a neighbor’s house. She was discovered inside the house of a coach from her school. The athletics coach at the Pleasant View Public School was arrested on suspicion of her murder. It was just mere hours after a white male that was unshaven, yanked Hailey into a pickup truck. The alleged kidnapper’s vehicle was discovered with the man still in it.
Police investigators arrested Craig Michael Wood, age 45, and then started to look through his home explained Police Chief Paul Williams at a press conference on Wednesday morning. Wood was detained in the Greene County, Missouri jail on the possibility of first-degree murder, online jail records stated. At 8:30 a.m. CT, Williams announced to the public that a young female body had been discovered inside the suspect’s house. Even though the child had not yet been positively identified, the police believe that it is Hailey Owens. The cause of death has yet to be determined.
Wood, whom the police chief stated as being uncooperative, has a criminal record of drug charges but not any known violent past. The Greene County Prosecutor’s Office had yet to receive a probable cause statement which officially listed the charges against the elementary coach.
The police chief explained that there had been indication of foul play discovered at Wood’s home and police officers were also investigating a laundry mat which might have a connection with the case. An attendant who was working on her duty shift at the laundry was reported as saying that she knew a police officer had to stay there all through the night until the FBI showed up. The attendant had first not been allowed to even report for work until investigators completed their search. She added that she herself believed that Wood must have tried to wash evidence, but stated she was only guessing.
Hailey had long blonde hair, weighed around 92 pounds and was last seen wearing blue jean shorts and flip-flops, the police reported. An Amber alert was issued Tuesday but was later soon canceled.
A Springfield, Missouri Public Schools employee databank showed that Craig Wood was hired in August of 1998 to watch over students who were put into the in-school suspension program. An up-to-date staff roster about Pleasant View Middle School shows that Craig Wood was employed this year, as well.
A witness stated that he happened to see Hailey being snatched as he and his wife were sitting inside the garage of their house. He stated that he thought the child had been visiting a friend who lived on that particular street and that she herself lived close. The suspect supposedly drove along the street numerous times before pulling up next to Hailey. He grabbed her and pulled her through the open driver’s side door and put her in the passenger seat.
The witness said he was in shock and began to chase the truck on foot while his wife took down its license number and called nine-one-one. He was extremely upset that the man had taken the child right in front of him and his wife, stating that he could not believe that the kidnapper failed to see them sitting inside their garage.
Tragically, Missouri police have released a statement saying that they are positive they have found the body of Hailey Owens, age 10, who was kidnapped only one day earlier from the front of a neighbor’s house. An athletics coach at the Pleasant View Public School has been arrested on suspicion of her murder after they discovered her body in his house.
By Kimberly Ruble
The Washington Post