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School coach held in abduction of Missouri girl

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 01:32

Feb. 19 - Springfield police are holding an elementary school coach on suspicion of murdering an abducted 10-year-old girl. Linda So reports.

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Forty-five-year-old Craig Michael Wood has been booked on murder charges in connection with the abduction of 10-year-old Hailey Owens. Police say the Missouri girl was walking near her Springfield home when she was approached by a man in a pickup truck believed to be Wood. SOUNDBITE: SPRINGFIELD POLICE CHIEF PAUL WILLIAMS, SAYING: "She initially ignored, and then came back and spoke with the driver, at which time he suddenly jumped out, grabbed her, pulled her into the vehicle. Our witnesses say it happened just that quick and then the vehicle sped off." Police say several witnesses chased the truck but could not keep up. The abduction sparked a multi-state Amber Alert. SOUNDBITE: SPRINGFIELD POLICE CHIEF PAUL WILLIAMS, SAYING: "There were a couple of very good witnesses who actually witnessed the abduction, provided information regarding the vehicle and a license plate number, tracked that to the owner of the vehicle, and from that we were then led to our suspect." Less than four hours after the abduction, police arrested Wood outside his house. Inside the home, investigators found a body. SOUNDBITE: SPRINGFIELD POLICE CHIEF PAUL WILLIAMS, SAYING: "While she has not been positively identified, we have a high degree of confidence that it is our victim, Hailey Owens." Wood is an elementary school coach and teaching aide for the Springfield school district. Police say he's been arrested before on drug charges. SOUNDBITE: SPRINGFIELD POLICE CHIEF PAUL WILLIAMS, SAYING: "It's tragic. It's horrific, and 30 plus years of law enforcement I've dealt with a lot of things. No, I cannot specifically point to a case like this, an abduction of a young child by a stranger and then the tragic ending, no." Police are waiting for autopsy results to determine how the girl died.

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School coach held in abduction of Missouri girl

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 01:32