American skater has connection to Springfield murder

Sochi Olympics Short Track Speedskating

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — American short track skater Emily Scott has a connection to a tragic case in her hometown of Springfield, Mo.

A middle-school football coach is accused in the kidnapping and killing of 10-year-old Hailey Owens, who was abducted as she walked home from her best friend’s house. Neighbors said they watched in horror as Hailey, just two blocks from her home, was snatched into a pickup truck that quickly sped away.

Craig Michael Wood, 45, is charged in the case. His attorney said he plans to plead not guilty.

After being eliminated from the women’s 1,000 meters Friday night, Scott revealed that Wood was her niece’s gym teacher.

“It’s definitely a scary thought,” Scott said. “All my prayers go out to that family. It’s heartbreaking.”

Scott said she put the case out of her mind before her final Olympic race. She finished third in her heat, failing to advance.

“I kind of left that at the door when I got here,” she said.

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