Claim: A 10-year-old girl named Hailey Owens is missing from her Springfield, Missouri, home.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, February 2014]
10-year-old Hailey Owens was reportedly abducted in Springfield, Mo. on Tuesday shortly before 5 p.m. She's believed to have been taken by a male suspect. They may be in 2008 gold Ford Ranger with Missouri plates: 1YF454.
Origins: On the afternoon of 18 February 2014, 10-year-old Hailey Owens was reported to police as having been abducted while heading home after school in Springfield, Missouri. Unfortunately, early the following morning police declared they had located a body tentatively identified as that of Hailey. The man in whose home the body was found has been arrested on first-degree murder charges:
Springfield, Mo., police [have] identified the body of 10-year-old Hailey Owens, who was found in the home of a school coach who allegedly abducted her yesterday.
"While she has not been positively identified, we have a high degree of confidence that it is Hailey Owens," said a spokesperson for the Springfield Police Department.
Owens was reported missing after reportedly walking to a friend's house at 5 p.m. about a block from her house. After an amber alert was issued, police arrested 45-year-old Craig Michael Wood, of Springfield, in connection to Hailey's abduction.
Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams said in a press conference that Wood refused to talk to authorities and asked for an attorney. He was taken to the Greene County Jail in Springfield.
Wood is on temporary suspension from his job at in the Springfield Public School system while the investigation is ongoing.
An autopsy on the body is expected soon. Police did not provide details on how the girl died.
The superintendent of Springfield Public Schools confirmed that the man arrested in connection with Hailey Owens' abduction worked for the school district:
District officials said Craig Michael Wood was a paraprofessional and athletic coach. Administrators said Wood's employment has been suspended in light of the investigation.
The school district issued the following news release:
"Superintendent Dr. Norm Ridder offers support to those
impacted by the tragedy.
"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."
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