Hailey Owens remembered in Springfield and around the world

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Hailey Owen's murder devastated the community where she lived but also struck a chord with hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.

A pile of flowers and gifts sits outside the home where she was abducted. It’s just one way people are remembering Hailey.

By Thursday afternoon, the Facebook page "Porch Lights for Hailey Owens" had more than 180,000 people pledge to leave their lights on for Hailey.

Cherise Carter is a neighbor involved in the Facebook page.

"I thought about how that family must be feeling and I just started watching and people started posting stuff online and I got involved with the porch lights for Hailey," Carter said. "We want to put the focus on Hailey and not on the person who harmed her because his intent was to take her out of this world and we're showing him that he didn't accomplish that."

Hailey often walked around her neighborhood. Carlos Edwards saw Hailey taken away in front of his home.

"The girl she walks up and down the street every day. I didn't know her personally but I see her every day walk up and down the street. But the guy no, I didn't know him, no," Edwards said.

He tried to stop the abduction but the car took off too fast.

Edwards described the car and suspect to police. That information finally led them to Craig Wood's home.
Wood has been charged with murdering and kidnapping Hailey.

Court records show he had a minor criminal history which included a conviction for possession of marijuana more than 20 years ago and an illegal hunting conviction.

One of Wood's neighbors said she never interacted with him. Although, she said she would hear him occasionally practicing with his band at the home.

That's where police said he killed Owens.

But people in the community didn't want to remember him, they wanted to remember Hailey.

"We've decided to keep the porch lights going for 10 days, one day for every year she was alive," Carter said.

The community scheduled a candlelight vigil and march through Springfield on Saturday.

KY3, our NBC affiliate in Springfield, talked with Hailey's mother as she struggled for answers as to why someone would want to harm Hailey. You can see their full interview here: http://bit.ly/1ebPjy5

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