User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
News : Missouri Coach Charged In Girl's Death Heads To Court
Posted by Randy on 2014/2/21 4:17:23 (327 reads) News by the same author

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- A middle-school football coach accused of kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday, as her southwest Missouri community struggles with a mix of anger and memories of a vivacious, trusting little girl.
Click to see original Image in a new window

Craig Michael Wood, 45, is accused of snatching Hailey Owens as she walked home from her best friend's house Tuesday evening in Springfield. Neighbors said they watched in horror as Hailey, just two blocks from her home, was pulled into a pickup truck that quickly sped away.

Her body, with a gunshot wound to the head, was found in Wood's basement. Wood is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action.

Community members were trying Thursday to make sense of the brutal crime, their memories of the bubbly fourth grader now mixed with shock and anger. Family and friends were remembering Hailey for her cheery disposition, a child who loved to laugh, smile and dance.

"She was pure gold," said her aunt, Sara Wells.

Gary Tew, principal at Westport Elementary School, said Hailey was a "happy-go-lucky kiddo" who made sure new students felt welcome and belonged to an afterschool club that taught character lessons through a local church. He said he last saw her on Valentine's Day, recalling her enthusiastic dancing at a class party.

Thousands are expected to attend a candlelight vigil in her honor Saturday night.

Public anger is palpable in Springfield, about 160 miles southeast of Kansas City, as questions swirled about the suspect's background and motive. Wood was a 16-year football coach at a middle school who also worked as a substitute teacher and teacher's aide overseeing suspensions.

Police said they found Wood holding duct tape as he left his father's pickup truck parked outside his home Tuesday night, just hours after Hailey went missing. Court records indicate the girl's body was found stuffed in two trash bags inside plastic storage containers in the basement of Wood's home, which was damp with bleach - presumably used to clean the crime scene.

"I'm furious," said Jerry Tiffany, a retired construction worker who stood outside the Greene County courthouse on Thursday holding a handmade sign that read, "Child killer. Hang `em."

"I've been up all night, with tears in my eyes," he said. "Kids can't even go out and play anymore."

At least three people told police they saw Hailey as she was pulled inside a pickup truck that had driven back and forth several times down the street before the driver stopped to ask the girl for directions. One homeowner gave chase on foot, and another followed the fleeing truck in his own car.

Law enforcement officials and family members said that despite Wood's status as a school employee, he and Hailey apparently didn't know each other. Hailey's home and Westport Elementary are on the city's west side, while Wood worked at Pleasant View School, which is 12 miles away north of Springfield, and lived on the city's east side.

Springfield School District officials have said their employment screening process found no warning signs when hiring Wood, first as a temporary employee in 1998 and then full time eight years later.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/7/25 6:26:53 - Motorcycle Accident Injures Cameron Resident Near Mooresville
2014/7/25 4:42:55 - Child Abuse Charges Include Snakes, Lizards And Alligators
2014/7/25 4:40:00 - Search Warrant Leads To Two Meth Suspects
2014/7/25 4:30:00 - 3 Convicted In $17 Million Drug Conspiracy
2014/7/25 4:26:15 - Woman Ticketed After Stopping To Help Stranded Ducklings
2014/7/25 4:22:33 - 10-Month-Old Baby Dead After Being Left In Hot Car
2014/7/25 4:15:23 - Husband Documents Wife's Reasons For Rejecting Sex, Sends To Her Work Email
2014/7/25 4:07:44 - Family Feud Sparks Revolt At Grocery Store Chain
2014/7/25 4:01:28 - Livingston County Sheriff Investigation Report
2014/7/24 11:03:48 - Two Spickard Residents Arrested On Drug Charges
2014/7/24 10:51:09 - Fire Damages Trenton Residence This Morning
2014/7/24 10:50:00 - Inmate At Daviess/DeKalb Jail Charged With Hitting Man 240 Times
2014/7/24 10:10:45 - Highway 65 And 28th Street Topic Of Meeting
2014/7/24 9:59:51 - Two Have Cases Heard In Court At Trenton
2014/7/24 9:56:09 - Caller Posing As Grundy Electric Employee In Attempt To Collect Payment
2014/7/24 9:52:51 - Trenton Resident Arrested
2014/7/24 4:46:07 - Man Caught Snapping Pictures At Pool With Concealed Camera
2014/7/24 4:35:31 - KC Leaders Endorse Ban On Openly Carrying Guns
2014/7/24 4:28:51 - Couple Arrested For Having Sex On Public Beach In Broad Daylight
2014/7/24 4:26:02 - 4-Year-Old Boy Banned From Doughnut Shop
2014/7/24 4:21:38 - Missouri Man Accused Of Leaving Infant Twins Unattended In Car
2014/7/24 4:14:50 - Arizona Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours
2014/7/24 4:09:06 - Missouri Couple Indicted On 9 Counts Of Illegal Synthetic Drugs
2014/7/23 9:17:41 - North 65 Center in Trenton To Hold Fundraiser
2014/7/23 9:11:50 - Dr. G Discusses "End Of Life"
2014/7/23 7:29:21 - Livingston County Sheriff Reports On Transports To Department Of Corrections
2014/7/23 6:39:12 - Highway Patrol: Prescription Drugs Responsible For Deaths And Emergencies Every Day
2014/7/23 6:33:00 - Spickard Board Of Education Meets
2014/7/23 6:28:38 - St. Joseph Woman Sentenced To 5 Year Prison Term For Fraud
2014/7/23 4:51:03 - Unique Church Service Caters To Deaf Community



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM