School district confirms Springfield abduction suspect is staff member
By Meghan Lane
Wed, 19 Feb 2014 16:44:22 GMT — The Springfield Public School District confirmed through their website the man arrested in connection with the disappearance of 10-year-old Hailey Owens was an employee. Craig Michael Wood, 45, is in the Greene County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. At about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday Springfield Police were notified of a possible abduction in the area. Further investigation revealed Owens was pulled into a gold Ford Ranger pick-up truck by a man driving down the road. The Springfield School District's Superintendent, Norm Ridder released this statement: Superintendent Dr. Norm Ridder offers support to those impacted by the tragedy. Last night we learned the terrible news that one of our students had been abducted near her home. This morning, our sadness is compounded by the recent developments in the case of Hailey Owensâ?? abduction. 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. Hailey is a student at Westport Elementary School and last year she attended Bowerman Elementary School. I offer my support to Haileyâ??s family and to our SPS community. Students and staff at three of our schools are coping with this situation. To support these school communities directly impacted by this tragedy, I have assigned additional counseling staff and school police officers to be on hand until further notice. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement officials as their investigation continues. Because this is an ongoing investigation, I will not be making any further comments about the situation at this time.
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