Abduction Suspect Employed by Springfield School District


Published 02/19 2014 10:14AM

Updated 02/19 2014 10:19AM

(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) The FBI has joined Springfield police investigators and crime scene techs, in collecting evidence in the abduction and murder of 10-year old Hailey Owens.

Family member say the girls body was found overnight, although police had not yet confirmed that as of 8 a.m.

Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams says Craig Michael Wood was arrested Tuesday night at a house in the 1500 block of E. Stanford, after officers got a tip.  They found a gold Ford pickup truck in the driveway. 

Williams says Wood, a paraprofessional and athletic coach at Pleasant View K-8 School, was taken to police headquarters for questioning, then booked into the Greene County Jail on charges of first degree murder.  Formal charges had not been filed as of 8 a.m.

Springfield R-12 school superintendent Dr. Norm Ridder issued this statement about Wood:

Last night we learned the terrible news that one of our students had been abducted near her home. This morning, our sadness is compounded by the recent developments in the case of Hailey Owens’ abduction.

The suspect in this case, Craig Michael Wood, was arrested by Springfield Police Department. Wood has been employed by SPS since Aug. 18, 1998. He works as a paraprofessional and athletic coach at Pleasant View K-8 School. His employment has been suspended until this matter is resolved.

Hailey is a student at Westport Elementary School and last year she attended Bowerman Elementary School. 

I offer my support to Hailey’s family and to our SPS community. Students and staff at three of our schools are coping with this situation. To support these school communities directly impacted by this tragedy, I have assigned additional counseling staff and school police officers to be on hand until further notice.

We are fully cooperating with law enforcement officials as their investigation continues. Because this is an ongoing investigation, I will not be making any further comments about the situation at this time.

Wednesday morning, agents of the FBI, Springfield investigators and crime scene technicians were collecting evidence and taking photos at the house.

Police plan a press conference at 11 a.m. to update the case.

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