Greene Co. Prosecutor Dan Patterson has charged Craig Michael Wood in the kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Hailey Owens. Witnesses say Wood grabbed Owens off the sidewalk in Springfield, put his hand over her mouth and sped away. Efforts to run after the truck and chase it by car were unsuccessful.
Patterson became emotional when thanking the community and law enforcement for their efforts in finding Owens alive, though her body was found three hours after her disappearance.
“Though they were tragically not able to save Hailey,” he said, his voice breaking. “I want to express my appreciation to the citizens who were aware and alerted law enforcement, and to the Springfield Police Department and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Their swift action, along with my chief assistant Todd Myers, allowed for the quick and speedy action and charging of this offender. My office is committed to seeking justice for Hailey.”
He said a capture in just three hours is remarkable and it’s a tragedy that it wasn’t fast enough to save Hailey Owens.
Patterson was asked about becoming emotional when talking about the crimes. He said as a father to 8- and 11-year-old daughters, “these are very hard facts to talk about. I’m just glad that he is captured and we’ll be able to bring him to justice.”
Wood is being held without bond at Greene County jail without bond. Patterson said if Wood is convicted of the crimes, he is eligible for the death penalty, however, he doesn’t know yet whether he will seek the death penalty until he further reviews the case. As details emerge, further charges are possible.
AUDIO: Prosecutor explains charges against Craig Michael Wood (6:41).
The probable cause statement says detectives found the body of Owens inside a plastic tote in Wood’s basement, and that it appeared she had been shot in the head.
View the Probable Cause Statement HERE.