Missouri abduction leaves neighbors terrified

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Reported by: Janai Norman
Updated: 2/19 5:25 pm Published: 2/19 4:15 pm

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - It’s on a narrow street in the middle of a neighborhood where witnesses say a gold truck was circling before the driver stopped to talk with 10-year-old Hailey Owens.

Police say she ignored the man at first, but then stopped to talk, and was grabbed.

Neighbors in the area said the crime hits home.

“Crazy, scary. You don’t think it’s going to happen, especially right next door to you, so it’s kind of scary,” said Kyle Bowling.

His front yard was part of the crime scene centered on Craig Wood’s home. That’s where investigators found their suspect, his getaway car and Owens’ body.

“This morning I wake up and all that’s taped off, so that’s when I figured what it was, most of the people here have kids, so it’s kind of scary,” said Bowling.

For those neighbors, like Becky Gatlos, who has three sons, it is terrifying.

“It could have been any one of my three boys, there’s a murderer living down the street, we can’t be safe anymore, this is a real eye-opener,” she said.

Gatlos was shocked at how quickly Owens was abducted, especially since neighbors were there to witness the crime.

Police said one witness tried to run after the truck, another got in their car and tried to drive after the truck while calling 911, all in an effort to save the little girl.

“It was so fast, she’s abducted, a guy saw it happen, he couldn’t even save her because he couldn’t catch up to her, my heart breaks for the witness too, how is he feeling?” said Gatlos.

While talking to FOX23, Gatlos teared up thinking about Owens’ family, who she said could have been her family or any other, a family that will never be whole again.

“They lost their baby girl, and they’re never going to get her back, so pray for strength for them through this, they’re going to need it,” she said.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 2/19/2014 5:30 PM
1 Vote
It's difficult to understand how monster offenders like this can dwell among us without being identified before it's too late.
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