UK & World News

  • 20 February 2014, 17:40

Coach Charged Over Abducted Girl's Death

A football coach is accused of killing a 10-year-old girl who was snatched off the street near her Missouri home as neighbours watched in horror.

Craig Michael Wood, a 45-year-old middle-school football coach and teacher's aide, has been charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action.

Hailey Owens was shot in the head, prosecutors said.

Police believe a body found stuffed in two refuse bags inside plastic storage containers in the basement of Wood's home in Springfield is that of Hailey.

Prosecutors said Wood took Hailey as she walked home from a friend's house on Tuesday.

Some neighbours said they spotted a man in a gold Ford Ranger pickup truck driving down the road in Springfield several times before they saw him taking off with the girl, investigators said.

One resident, Michelle Edwards, said the driver asked the girl for directions before he grabbed her with one hand and threw her into the truck "like a rag doll".

Another resident told the Springfield News-Leader that he chased the fleeing pickup in his car after a neighbour tried to pull the girl away.

"I couldn't keep up," Ricky Riggins said.

"He was probably five to six cars ahead of me," he added. "It was so fast."

Residents called 911 to report the truck's licence number, but the vehicle moved too quickly.

Wood was arrested on Tuesday night.

He and the girl apparently did not know each other.

Hailey attended Westport Elementary School, while Wood worked at Pleasant View School.

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