Man held for murder in 10-year-old Missouri girl's abduction

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 19, 2014 10:08 AM

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Police are holding a man on suspicion of first-degree murder for the apparent death of a 10-year-old Missouri girl, electronic booking records show.

Craig Michael Wood, 45, was taken into custody on Tuesday night, about three hours after Hailey Owens was abducted from a street near her Springfield home.

The witness reports triggered a multi-state Amber Alert, Springfield police said on Wednesday.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation canceled a statewide Amber Alert for Owens and reported on their website Wednesday that at 7 a.m. local time, Springfield police "announced that they had a suspect in custody and that (Hailey) was deceased."

A KBI spokeswoman confirmed that the website information was accurate.

Wood is being held in the Greene County jail on suspicion of first degree murder, according to the jail's online booking records. Police did not specify the charges against Wood during a morning news briefing.

Police declined to take questions at the briefing about whether Hailey had been found.

Several local news outlets reported Wednesday that the child's family said authorities had located her body.

The girl was walking down a Springfield street late Tuesday afternoon when a man driving a gold Ford Ranger with Missouri license plates grabbed her and pulled her into his vehicle, police said.

Police searched for the vehicle and suspect and issued the Amber Alerts.

Following a lead, officers found Wood in a vehicle at a Springfield residence at about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. They took him into custody after finding evidence of foul play, police said on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Edited by Chris Francescani and Lisa Von Ahn)