Update: DA Files Murder, Kidnapping Charges in Missouri Girl's Death
Springfield police investigate the abudction and murder of a 10-year-old girl.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -
Prosecutors have filed murder and kidnapping charges against the man accusing of abducting and killing a 10-year-old Missouri girl.
Craig Wood, 45, of Springfield, was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion that he took Hailey Owens.
The district attorney announced charges had been filed Wednesday evenings.
Prosecutors said they will make a determination later if they will seek the death penalty.
Ten-year-old Hailey was abducted from the streets of her Springfield, Missouri neighborhood was found dead this morning.
Neighbors Witness Abduction
Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams said several witnesses saw a truck circling the neighborhood around 5 p.m. Tuesday and saw a driver stop to talk to Hailey. Witnesses told police that the driver jumped out of the vehicle, grabbed Hailey and sped off.
The witnesses tried to chase after the truck but could not, but they did get write down the license plate information, Williams said.
Investigators connected the truck to Wood through the tag information and began staking out Wood’s home, Williams said.
Suspect Arrested, Body Found
Officers arrested Wood when he returned to the home around 8:30 p.m.
Chief Williams said a search warrant for the home was not issued until after 2 a.m. and the evidence response team began searching the house around 8 a.m.
The body was found inside the house and by 10:45 a.m. Chief Williams said investigators were confident the body was Hailey.
Suspect Worked at Springfield Schools
Chief Williams said it appears Wood and Hailey didn’t know each other.
The Springfield Public Schools system confirmed Wednesday that Wood has been an employee of the district since 1998. He works as a paraprofessional and athletic coach at a kindergarten through eighth grade campus.
Hailey did not attend the school where Wood worked, according to the district’s statement.
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