Authorities say they have found a man who kidnapped a 10-year-old Springfield girl but that Hailey M. Owens remains missing.
An Amber Alert was issued for the state of Missouri about two hours after the girl was abducted from her home, and was later expanded Tuesday night to include Kansas and Oklahoma.
Early Wednesday, authorities said a man was arrested on a kidnapping charge. He was found sitting in his vehicle outside a south Springfield residence.
However, Hailey remains missing.
"Thirty to 40 officers have begun an extensive search that will continue throughout the night or until she is found," according to the news release from the Springfield Police Department.
A 911 call was made at 4:48 p.m. Tuesday after Hailey was abducted in the area of Lombard Street and Laurel Avenue while walking to a friend's home. Unusually warm temperatures had many children playing outside Tuesday.
Witnesses described her abductor as a man about 45 years old in a 2008 gold Ford Ranger pickup with Missouri license plate 1YF454 or IYS454.
Witnesses reportedly chased the vehicle, and the child's mother says the man who grabbed her is a stranger to the family.
Hailey is about 5'2" tall and weighs about 90 pounds. She has long brown hair, brown eyes and pierced ears. She was last seen wearing blue jean shorts and purple sandals. She is considered skinny, and her ears are pierced.
The initial Amber Alert was issued about 7 p.m.
The Amber Alert was extended just before 9:30 p.m. to include Kansas and Oklahoma.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of this child, call the Springfield Police Department at 417-864-1810 or 911 immediately.
The fourth-grader's devastated family members spoke to the Springfield News-Leader.
Stacey Owens said she is trying to stay positive.
"My nerves are shot," she said.
The family lives just a few blocks from where she was abducted while walking en route to a friend's home.
The girl's aunt, Erin Petersen, vowed that "We will find her."
She pleaded for her niece's return.
"She's a very lively, bubbly, sweet little girl. She's spontaneous, very innocent," she told the newspaper while choking back tears.
At least one witness described the abduction to authorities. The man and his wife were in their garage enjoying the evening when the horror of the man luring the girl close to his vehicle and then snatching her unfolded.
The man ran after the truck unsuccessfully while his wife focused on remembering the license plate number and calling 911.
The Amber Alert initially said the suspect might be en route to an Ash Grove address, off Highway T. The truck was reported heading south on Golden from Lombard, the newspaper said.
Some believed he was headed to Oklahoma, but the vehicle and the man were found in south Springfield. Police did not release an exact location.
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