School Coach Arrested for Murder of Abducted 10-Year-Old Girl

Update: Police have confirmed that Hailey was found in Wood's basement and that the little girl had been shot in the back of the head, wrapped in plastic bags, and smelled of bleach.

The body of missing 10-year-old Hailey Owens may have been found in Missouri and an elementary school sports coach is being charged with first-degree murder after allegedly dragging the poor girl off the street in broad daylight and taking her to his home. Amber alerts were issued in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma on Tuesday after the fourth grader vanished while walking a few blocks home from her friend's house. At least one witness told police they saw a man in a gold Ford Ranger drive up and down the street before pulling Hailey into his truck. The details are so disturbing and sad that it's difficult to believe this actually happened to a sweet angel.

According to police, the suspect is a 45-year-old man named Craig Michael Wood, who is reportedly an athletics coach at Pleasant View K-8 school, where he's been employed for more than 25 years. His profile fits the one described by a witness and he was taken into custody just three hours after Hailey was reported missing. Police reportedly found Wood sitting in his car -- which also fit the description of a gold vehicle with Missouri plates and was located just five miles from where Hailey was abducted -- and arrested him on suspicion of first-degree murder after finding evidence of "foul play."

Police say a body was found in Woods' home and that they believe it belongs to the little girl.

As of right now, this is the only information available to the public. Wood's employer says he has been suspended. Police won't comment on the little girl, which seems only right given the sensitivity of this sad story.

It's incredibly scary to think someone in your own neighborhood -- a person who was a trusted figure at a well-regarded school, no less -- could be capable of hurting a child this way. As a parent, you think the worst of strangers and suspicious-looking characters -- not of people who live within miles of your home.

I hope Hailey's parents and family find peace during this terrible time and that police are able to crack this case and punish the person -- whether Woods or someone else -- responsible for this heinous crime.

What do you think so far about the details of this crime?


Image via jayneandd/Flickr

child abuse, crime, death, in the news, law, missing person


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nonmember avatar Ricky

He wasn't a coach, he was an in school suspension supervisor.

silly... sillykidsx3

He also coached football at the K-8 Pleasant View school. I live very close to where this happened.

hopea... hopealways4019

He been suspended? I know innocent until proven guilty. But he should been immediately terminated. If he did what they alleging.. Its scary to know this man was teaching kids.. He was a respected teacher.. Then to go from that to accused child murderer. Just cant trust anyone.. People aint who they appear to be. Always kiss your love ones and tell them u love them .. Might be ur last chance.

nonmember avatar tiffa

So sad... My boyfriends phone kept going off with Amber alerts but as it was in a city a few hours away we dismissed it. :( I pray for her family :(

imult... imultracool

He's worked for SPS for 15 years not 25. He was a coach and a ISS supervisor. He was but on adminestrative leave for now but we all know he did it. She is the cousin of a family friend and the guy was my lil bros coach at one point. I hope he rots in hell.

rache... rachellann

It's not always strangers we need to look out for!

nonmember avatar Jennifer

One way we are all showing our love and support for her family.

elk571 elk571

Wow they arrested him just 3 hrs after she disappeared?? So he basically took her and immediately killed her; she didn't stand a chance! Poor girl, my heart goes out to her family...

spook... spooknrun

I couldn't look at the photo of that happy little girl without crying. That poor child.

Deeski Deeski

My prayers to her family and her community.  I cannot imagine actually seeing this happen.  So scary.  In broad daylight.  In front of witnesses?  God bless them for taking down the tag number of the vehicle.  He knew people saw him and continued to snatch this poor girl.  I cannot even comprehend what her last hours must have been like. RIP little angel.

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