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Murder charges filed against man accused of killing 10-year-old - KOAM TV 7

Murder charges filed against man accused of killing 10-year-old Springfield girl

Updated:
Updated at 5:55 PM:  The following charges have been filed against Craig Michael Wood, 45, of Springfield, in the death of 10-year-old Hailey Owens:
  • 1st degree murder
  • armed criminal action
  • child kidnapping
Authorities are crediting Hailey's response to try to get away from the suspect, the response of witnesses in getting good, useful information to authorities quickly and the response of the Springfield Police Department to track and capture the suspect in just over three hours.

"It is a tragedy that it was not quick enough to save Hailey," an official said during a 5:45 p.m. news conference.

Wood is being held without bond.


Updated at 12:35 PM:  NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE SPRINGFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT

Police confirm body is found at 1538 E. Stanford

We are now able to confirm that we have discovered a young female body pursuant to a search warrant at 1538 E. Stanford. While she has not been positively identified, we have a high degree of confidence that it is Hailey Owens. An official finding, regarding identity and cause of death won't be determined until after an autopsy is performed.

Throughout this investigation, we have kept the family informed of our progress. We let them know early this morning it was a possibility that we had located a body. But at that point, we were not able to confirm the fact that this was our victim.

SPD and FBI investigators are continuing to process multiple locations, including the residence at 1538 E. Stanford, to gather evidence related to this crime.

Craig Michael Wood, 45, of Springfield was arrested by SPD and booked into Greene County jail at approximately 11:30 p.m. Investigators continue to compile reports and gather evidence in order to present information to Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson, who will determine what charges are appropriate and should be filed in the case.

# # #

Update at 11:30 AM:  During a morning press conference Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams confirmed they have recovered a body, there is not enough evidence to confirm the body is that of Hailey Owens.

They would only confirm that the body is a young girl.

Multiple area law enforcement agencies and the FBI are continuing to collect evidence at several locations.

Officials are at the home of suspect Craig Wood located on the 1500 block of east Stanford.
They are working a crime scene at a Springfield laundry mat.

Police have not found a connection between the suspect and the victim.

Updated at 8:15 AM:  CBS affiliate KOLR in Springfield, Missouri is reporting that the body of 10-year-old Hailey Owens has been found.

"A family friend, who was with in communication with the family to help organize a search for Hailey,  told KOLR10's Brett Martin, the family said a search was no longer necessary because Hailey's body has been found." - from KOLR.

Law enforcement has yet to confirm her body has been found but do say "evidence of foul play" has been found.

45-year-old Craig Michael Wood is in custody and has been booked into jail on charges of first degree murder.



Updated at 7:24 AM: SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Springfield police say a 45-year-old man is jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder in the case of a missing 10-year-old girl.

Chief Paul Williams says investigators found "evidence of foul play" in the search for Hailey Owens, who was abducted Tuesday evening.

Williams said Wednesday investigators continue to search for evidence "related to a potential crime".

He did not address media reports that the girl's body had been found.

KOAM has reached out to the Springfield Police Dept. for comment but has yet to receive a call back.

Updated at 4:06 AM: Authorities have a suspect in custody in an AMBER Alert case, but a 10-year-old southwest Missouri girl remains missing.

The Springfield Police Dept. Tuesday evening issued AMBER Alerts in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma for 10-year-old Hailey Owens.

Springfield police released a statement just before midnight which said dozens of officers were still searching for the girl, and that a man had been taking into custody on kidnapping charges.

"We are very concerned about this and are taking it as legitimate abduction," Lt. Robert Pitts with the Springfield Police Dept. said. "We have no reason to believe it has anything to do with any other crime in the area. From what we are understanding, this is a random act."

The suspect's name has not been released, but police say he was found inside a vehicle at a home near Springfield.

Witnesses told investigators a man in a gold-colored 2008 Ford Ranger drove down the street several times, approaching Owens and pulling her into his truck around 5:00 p.m. Tuesday.

Hailey is 5-foot-2, about 90 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing jean shorts and purple sandals.

If you have any information on the her whereabouts, you are urged to call 911.


PRESS RELEASE From Springfield, MO Police Dept:

At 4:48 p.m. Tuesday, the Springfield Police Department was dispatched to a child abduction call at 3247 W. Lombard. 

Hailey Owens (8-18-03) was approached by an unknown suspect and then pulled into his vehicle.

The suspect is a white male, and may be driving in a gold Ford Ranger. 

The license plate number may be one of two possibilities: 1YF454 or 1YS454.

Hailey is skinny with sandy blonde hair and wearing jean shorts.

If you have any information on Hailey's whereabouts, please call 911.

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