TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- The initial information from those witnesses led to an AMBER alert in three states, including Kansas.
Yet, questions quickly arose over how long it took Springfield Police to sound the alarm. They said they first received witness descriptions of suspect Craig Michael Wood and his vehicle and license plate information at 5 p.m., but the Amber Alert did not go out until 2 hours later at 7 p.m.
"Seventy-six percent of all children who are abducted by strangers are dead within 3 hours," said Mark Malick, Special Agent in charge at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
Mark Malick says for an AMBER Alert to be issued in Kansas, it must meet 4 criteria requirements:
- Was the child abducted?
- Is the child 17 years old or younger?
- Is the child at risk of death or serious injury?
- Is there enough information for the public to help locate the child?
Hailey Owens met these requirements.
"I can't speak for Springfield, but I'm not going to shy away from that those should be questions that should be posed," said Malick.
Malick says at around 7:30 Tuesday night, KBI received a request from Springfield Police to issue a Secondary Amber Alert for Hailey. He says even though Springfield is more than 250 miles away, police were not sure which way Wood's was headed with Hailey in his vehicle.
"We immediately got our AMBER team together, so our alert was issued approximately an hour after that call for activation, "said Malick.
WIBW received the alert at 8:30 p.m. and put it on the air, web and social media. At around 10:30 p.m., Hailey Owen's body was found in Craig Michael Wood's Springfield home.
"We are saddened as a agency to hear this news and our prayers go out to the family," said Malick.
Malick says KBI followed correct protocol when issuing the AMBER Alert in Kansas, however 13 News still do not know why Springfield Police took 2 hours to issue the alert in Missouri.
Posted by: Ariana Cohen