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Child porn found in home of Hailey's alleged killer

NEED TO KNOW
  • A binder containing images of child pornography was found in the home of the suspect in the Hailey Owens case, police said
  • The 10-year-old girl was abducted while walking home from a friend's house
  • Craig Wood, 45, has been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and child kidnapping
Child porn found in home of Hailey's alleged killer

Hailey Owens abduction witness: ‘I chased him’

Cops: Missouri girl shot in head, body put in trash bags

Cops: Missouri girl shot in head, body put in trash bags

Police chief: ‘Horrific ending’ to Hailey Owens case

A three-ring binder containing images of child pornography was found in the home of the suspect accused of kidnapping and murdering 10-year-old Missouri girl Hailey Owens, according to a search warrant affidavit released Friday.

Craig Michael Wood, a 45-year-old middle school coach from Ash Grove, has been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and child kidnapping.

At a brief hearing Friday in Greene County Court, Wood’s public defender Chris Hatley said his client plans to plead not guilty, HLN affiliate KMOV reported.

According to the search warrant affidavit, police also found guns, ammunition, a bullet casing, bleach, and duct tape at the home where the girl’s body was discovered Wednesday.

Springfield police officers said when they first entered the home a strong smell of bleach led them to the basement where the child’s body was hidden. The remains were found inside a large plastic storage container concealed inside two trash bags.

A search of the home also turned up “additional bottles of bleach, a roll of large black trash bags, boxes of trash bags, and paper towels,” the affidavit states.

A laptop computer and a video camera were found in the living room near a large revolver that was in its holster, police said.

In one bedroom, officers said they found a shotgun and a mattress with the bedding removed.

“There appeared to be unknown stains on the mattress and pillows,” the affidavit states.

Crime scene investigators confirmed the discovery of a young female inside the storage container located in the basement.  

The child had a gunshot wound to the base of her skull, as well as apparent ligature marks on her arms, the Green County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

A spent .22 caliber shell casing was found on the basement floor, according to police.

Authorities are waiting for an autopsy to officially confirm the body is Owens’, but Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams said “we have a high degree of confidence” in the preliminary identification, which indicates that it is the girl.

The 10-year-old was abducted Tuesday just before 5:00 p.m. as she was walking home from a friend's house.

Two eyewitnesses told police they saw a man in a gold-colored 2008 Ford Ranger driving down the street several times before approaching the girl and pulling her into his truck.

One witness told police “the male then lunged out of the vehicle, grabbed the girl with his left hand, and threw her into the truck ‘like a rag doll,’” according to the probable cause statement. The suspect then fled the area at a high rate of speed.

The witnesses provided a detailed description of the suspect, the car he was driving, and the license plate number, which led authorities to Wood.

At the hearing Friday, Assistant Greene County Prosecutor Todd Myers challenged Wood’s use of a public defender after he said police found evidence of a $1 million trust in Wood’s name, KMOV reported. A judge said he would consider the matter and scheduled a follow-up hearing for March 19.

HLN reached out to Wood’s public defender Friday, but calls were not returned.

Wood could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

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