SPRINGFIELD, Missouri- On Saturday, February 22nd, 2014, a mass of humanity, more than 10,000 peopled jammed the streets of Springfield to remember an innocent soul taken from her family and the community. That was three years ago, but for many memories are as fresh as yesterday with a lingering trial and anticipation of some closure in legal proceedings.
The abduction and murder of 10 year-old Hailey Owens blocks from home allegedly by longtime school district employee Craig Michael Wood, horrified the community, but also brought residents together in solidarity.
The crime also garnered national attention and was presented on Nancy Grace.
Wood’s trial date has been moved to May 8, 2017, which means more anguishing days in court as Stacey and Jeff, her mom and step-dad hope as they pray for final justice. Wood may face the death penalty for the crime.
Hailey Owens was born on August 18, 2003, in Springfield, Missouri. She went to heaven on February 18, 2014 at the age of 10.
Hailey was a high-spirited, happy child. She was kind-hearted, full of life, full of laughter, and full of love. She enjoyed helping her mom with laundry, cooking, and baby-sitting. She was thrilled that she was getting ready to become an aunt.
At times, Hailey was a girly-girl who loved painting her fingernails, watching Princess movies, playing dress-up, getting her hair fixed, and having her picture taken by her sister at Nathaniel Greene Park. At other times, she was a tomboy who loved playing in the mud and riding her bike in the creek.
Hailey loved to talk, enjoyed all kinds of music, and the colors pink and purple were her favorites. She attended Bowerman Elementary from kindergarten through second grade and was currently a fourth grader at Westport Elementary. She was a believer in Jesus Christ and had a positive impact on everyone who knew her. She will be greatly missed.
Hailey is survived by her parents, Jeff and Stacey Barfield, dad and mom; Markus Ryan Owens, dad; Markus Owens, brother; J.D. Barfield, brother; Alexa Barfield, sister; many loving relatives from the Barfield, Owens, Nord, and Herman families; and many, many friends.
The family is grateful for the support, encouragement, and love they have received from people locally, nationally, and globally. Donations to benefit the family may be made to the Hailey Owens Memorial Fund through Empire Bank.
Visitation will be Tuesday evening from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ridgecrest Baptist Church. A funeral service celebrating Hailey’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, also at Ridgecrest. Pastor Pat Findley from Hamlin Memorial Baptist Church will be officiating. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-leader/obituary.aspx?pid=169839897#sthash.Gl8J5jkH.dpuf