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Shock persists as southwest Mo. mourns slain girl

February 20, 2014
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Family and friends are remembering 10-year-old Hailey Owens as a vivacious spirit.

She was a trusting little girl whose cheery disposition only deepened the heartbreak after she was snatched off a southwest Missouri street and killed by an abductor.

Memories of Hailey mixed with anger and shock in Springfield on Thursday, as the community tried to make sense of the brutal crime that took her life.

She went missing Tuesday, taken off a street just blocks from home while walking back from a friend's house.

Craig Wood, a middle school football coach, is charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping.

Hailey's aunt described her as "pure gold," a bubbly girl who loved to laugh, smile and dance. Her principal said she always made sure to make new students feel welcome.



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