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 (563 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
2015/3/30 13:20:00 - Amber Alert Issued For 13-Year Old, Missing From Henry County
2015/3/30 12:00:00 - Trenton Municipal Utilities Sets Budget For Fiscal Year
2015/3/30 11:50:34 - Princeton's Schoonover Receives High Score In Percussion Solo
2015/3/30 11:00:00 - Trenton HS Instrumental Music Department Earns Ten "1's" At Districts
2015/3/30 11:00:00 - THS Vocalists Excel In Districts
2015/3/30 10:32:27 - Area Teens Injured In Truck Accident
2015/3/28 5:50:29 - Harrison County Accident Injures Ridgeway Woman
2015/3/27 16:19:18 - Milan Blisters Putnam County To Open Baseball Season
2015/3/27 16:15:35 - Trenton Kiwanis To Host Easter Egg Hunt At Moberly Park
2015/3/27 16:08:33 - Pershing Boyhood Home To Host Easter Egg Hunt
2015/3/27 15:59:31 - Michigan Wolverines End Mizzou's Season In WNIT's Third Round
2015/3/27 15:52:45 - Royals Right Fielder Out With Jammed Thumb
2015/3/27 15:40:00 - Royals Lose Young Right-Hander On Waivers To San Diego
2015/3/27 14:20:00 - Trenton Bulldogs Sweep Early Bird Relays
2015/3/27 13:30:00 - NCMC Softball Routs Graceland's JV, Runs Winning Streak To 11
2015/3/27 11:40:00 - MBCA Announces All-State Academic Basketball Team
2015/3/27 11:32:48 - Highway 65 Accident Injures Three
2015/3/27 11:21:58 - Trenton Family Aquatics Center To Hold Lifeguarding Course
2015/3/27 11:07:22 - Chillicothe City Council Scheduled To Meet Monday Night
2015/3/27 9:40:00 - MBCA Announces All-State Basketball Team
2015/3/27 9:00:09 - Malta Bend Man Catches Record-Breaking Catfish In the Missouri River
2015/3/27 9:00:00 - THS Graduate Rebekah Capeder Named NAIA Honorable Mention All-American
2015/3/27 8:40:00 - Trenton Residents Meet, Brainstorm Ideas To Improve City
2015/3/27 8:37:34 - Health Center Hosts Open House To Kick Off Public Health Month
2015/3/27 8:31:22 - Gun Show Coming To Marceline This Weekend
2015/3/27 8:26:02 - State To Fully Fund A+ Program In Spring Term
2015/3/27 8:22:55 - Huffington Post Names NCMC As "Top Ten" Community College In U.S.
2015/3/27 8:20:57 - Senator McCaskill To Host Senior Listening Session In Chillicothe
2015/3/27 7:49:44 - MoDOT Warns Of Potential Bridge Closings, Without Financial Help
2015/3/27 7:41:46 - Vehicle Reported Stolen In Chillicothe, Recovered In Springfield



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM