Police in Springfield, Mo. said that a young girl’s body discovered in a suspect’s home on Wednesday is believed to be that of missing 10-year-old Hailey Owens.
Owens was reportedly abducted on Tuesday evening after witnesses told police they saw her being pulled into a gold-colored Ford Ranger, just blocks away from her home. The abductor allegedly asked her for directions to “Springfield Street.”
The Springfield Police identified and arrested a suspect on Tuesday evening, the Springfield News-Leader reports, after tracing the vehicle allegedly used in the abduction. According to the Los Angeles Times, police discovered a body inside his home. Craig Michael Wood, a 45-year-old elementary school coach, is currently in custody under suspicion of first-degree murder, though no charges have been formally filed.
The Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools released a statement, according to local press, identifying the suspect as an employee. “The suspect in this case, Craig Michael Wood, was arrested by Springfield Police Department. Wood has been employed by SPS since Aug. 18, 1998. He works as a paraprofessional and athletic coach at Pleasant View K-8 School. His employment has been suspended until this matter is resolved,” KMBC reports Superintendent Norm Ridder said in a statement.
Hailey, according to the superintendent, is a student at Westport Elementary School and attended Bowerman Elementary School last year.The LA Times reports that the suspect has a limited criminal history that includes some drug charges.