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Coach charged with murder, kidnapping for Springfield girl’s death

Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson announced Wednesday evening that charges had been filed in the death of 10-year-old Hailey Owens.

Craig Wood, 45, has been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and child kidnapping.

According to investigators, Wood kidnapped Owens Tuesday evening from a street near her home. Witnesses told police a man in a Ford pickup truck drove along a street several times before stopping to approach Hailey. That is when the man allegedly pulled Hailey into his truck and drove off.

Wood is then accused of having killed her at his Springfield home.

Court documents showed investigators found Owens’ body inside two trash bags in the basement of the home. Officers noted the basement smelled like bleach and the floor was wet.

According to a probable cause statement, Owens had been shot at the base of the skull with a .22 caliber handgun. A .22 caliber shell casing was found in the basement. There were also what appeared to be ligature marks on Owens’ arms.

Officers found Wood after an AMBER Alert was issued for his 2008 gold Ford Ranger Tuesday night.

Wood has worked for the Springfield School District since 1998 as a substitute teacher, coach and teacher’s aide. Police say Hailey did not attend that school, and he apparently didn’t know her.

The district said Wednesday morning he was on suspension because of the investigation.

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