Hailey Owens’ story is every parents nightmare. While walking home from school on Feb. 18, Hailey was abducted by a 45-year-old elementary school athletic coach.
Hailey Owens was innocently walking home from school on Tuesday Feb 18. when Craig Wood pulled up next to her and asked her for directions. Nearby neighbors witnessed Craig jump out of his truck and force Hailey inside before pulling away. Sadly, it was the last time anyone saw little Hailey alive. Authorities arrested Craig at his home just over three hours after the incident occurred, but unfortunately it was not fast enough to save Hailey’s life.
Craig Wood Charged With Murder Of Hailey Owens
Hailey Owens, 10, was abducted in her own neighborhood while walking home from school in broad daylight on Feb. 18 by elementary school athletic coach, Craig Wood. Multiple witnesses reported seeing Craig’s gold Ford Ranger circle Hailey before stopping the vehicle next to her, jumping out, and dragging her inside. One neighbor, Carlos Edwards, told a local news reporter that he and his wife witnessed the pick-up truck drive up and down the block multiple times before finally approaching Hailey. According to Daily Mail‘s report, When Carlos saw the driver get out and grab Hailey, he tried chasing after the truck to get a license plate number while his wife called 911.
[hl_ndn videoid=”25638933″ videotitle=”Craig Wood Charged With Murder” ]
Authorities matched the plate to Craig’s vehicle and arrested him as he arrived at his home just three hours later. During an immediate search of the home, police reported smelling bleach in the basement. Hailey’s body was later found in a storage bin inside the home where she had suffered a gunshot to the head, according to CNN.
[hl_ndn videoid=”25638691″ videotitle=”Hailey’s Amber Alert Delayed 2 Hours” ]
Elementary School Employee Turned Murderer
The most terrifying part of this story is that Craig — now charged with first degree murder, armed criminal action, and child kidnapping — worked in the school system for over a decade. The Daily Mail reports that he was first employed in the Springfield Public Schools system in 1998 as a paraprofessional for in-school suspension.
Superintendent Norm Ridder told the media in a statement that Craig’s employment would be “suspended until this matter is resolved.”
— Lauren Cox