Elementary school coach arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder

By Rebecca Walezak,

An elementary school coach has been arrested after a child’s body was discovered in his home.

Craig Michael Wood, 45, was taken into custody for suspicion of first-degree murder, the Associated Press reports. The body is believed to be that of missing 10-year-old Hailey Owens, but it has not been confirmed.

Owens went missing around 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Witnesses reportedly saw a gold 2008 Ford Ranger drive past Owens multiple times while she walked to a friend’s house before it stopped and the driver took her. Wood was arrested later that night.

Wood doesn’t have much of a criminal background, but has been suspended from his job at Springfield Public Schools until this case has been resolved, according to News Leader. Owens did not attend the school that Wood worked at and police do not believe that the two knew each other.

A candlelight vigil has been scheduled for Saturday night for the Owens family. An estimated 500 people will be attending.



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