Victim's mother speaks after Mo. man charged with murder, kidnapping

Published On: Feb 18 2014 07:25:06 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 20 2014 07:01:21 PM CST

The body of a young girl taken from her Missouri home was found earlier this week.

Hailey Owens, 10, was abducted from her front yard late Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses said they saw the girl talk to a man for a moment, then was taken against her will. The girl's disappearance sparked an Amber Alert.

Owens' mother agreed to an interview with KY3 in Springfield on Thursday, saying she was finding comfort through her family, friends and faith.

"Hailey was my little angel," she said.

Click here to see KY3's full interview with Hailey Owens' mother

The alert was cancelled early Wednesday morning after officer's spotted a pickup wanted in connection to the kidnapping at a south Springfield home.

Greene County prosecutor Dan Patterson has filed first degree murder and kidnapping charges against 45-year-old Craig Michael Wood.

Paul Williams, Springfield Police Chief, said Wood was sitting outside his home in the pickup.

Detectives found the body of a young girl inside his home around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Wood was booked into the Greene County, Missouri jail on suspicion of First Degree Murder. 

Craig Michael Wood Booking Information

Police said Wood is refusing to communicate with authorities. At this time, detectives have not been able to determine a connection between the suspect and the victim. But the Springfield School district confirms Wood was an employee for the district.

Dan Patterson, Greene County prosecutors, charged Wood with first-degree murder Wednesday evening. He also faces kidnapping charges.

Authorities believe Wood acted alone.

According to court documents, Hailey died from a single gunshot wound at the back of her skull.

KCTV 5 reports crime scene technicians found Hailey's body folded into two trash bags and crammed into a plastic tote. Wood apparently tried to conceal the tote in the basement, according to court records.

The smell of bleach was strong in the basement and authorities said they found evidence that Wood had used bottles of bleach in the basement.

Under Missouri law, the child-kidnapping charge could allow Patterson to seek the death penalty against Wood if Wood is convicted.


An amber alert has been issued for a young Missouri girl who was abducted outside of her home.

Hailey Owens was taken from her Springfield home in the 3200 block of  West Lombard Street at 4:48 p.m. Tuesday.  The girl is 10, 5-foot-2, skinny, with sandy blonde hair and pierced ears.  She was wearing blue jean shorts and purple sandals.

A neighbor tells KY3 a man went up to Hailey, who was outside the home, and talked to her, then grabbed her and threw her in his truck.  Hailey's mother told police that she has no idea who the man is.

Police are looking for a white man who may be driving a tan-gold Ford Ranger pickup that was last seen going south on Golden Avenue from Lombard.  The truck has Missouri plates (1)IYF 454 or (1)IYS 454.

Anyone with information on Hailey's whereabouts can call 911. At the request of Missouri law enforcement agencies, authorities in Oklahoma and Kansas have issued their own alerts in case the abductor may be heading west.