AMBER Alert issued for Springfield, Mo., 10-year-old

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - UPDATE: This story has been updated. Please read this version.

UPDATE, 11:04 a.m.: Springfield police said they've found the body of a young girl and believe it to be that of Hailey Owens.

UPDATE, 9:37 a.m.: Springfield police are disputing reports they've asked for the AMBER Alert to be cancelled, according to a tweet.

Police have a suspect in custody in the abduction of 10-year-old Hailey Owens in southwest Missouri.

Springfield police held a news conference early Wednesday morning and said Craig Michael Wood, 45, had been taken into custody on kidnapping charges. Wood has also been booked on suspicion of murder. Police said he was found inside a vehicle at a local home late Tuesday night.

Authorities said officers found signs of foul play at 1500 E. Stanford St., and they are focusing their efforts on that area.

Wood is listed on the website of a Springfield Public Schools campus as an employee of a middle school and an employee database confirms he was working as a paraprofessional employee as of last year, according to a report by the Springfield News-Leader. The school district confirmed he was an employee in an email sent out by the schools' superintendent.

Witnesses told investigators a man in a gold-colored 2008 Ford Ranger drove down the street several times before approaching Hailey and pulling her into his truck around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"He opened his door and said come here for a minute. And she walked up to his truck and as soon as she got in hands reach, he grabbed her, threw her over him in the passenger's seat and took off," Carlos Edwards told KY3, the NBC affiliate in Springfield.

AMBER Alerts were issued in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Hailey is 5-foot-2, about 90 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing jean shorts and purple sandals.

 

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