Community Shares its Grief for Hailey Owens

By KOLR10 News

Published 02/20 2014 05:20AM

Updated 02/20 2014 04:06PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- There has been an outpouring of support from the Springfield community following the abduction and murder of 10-year old Hailey Owens.

One of those remembering hailey is her aunt, Erin Petersen.
Yesterday she shared what she loved so much about her niece to help honor Hailey's life.

In an email to KOLR10 News, Petersen said;  "Hailey was a remarkably special child. She had a gift in cheering others up when they were down. She has a smile that could light up the darkest of rooms, and always had a few extra hugs and kisses to give."

"Hailey was very outgoing and popular. She had many friends and people who will always love her dearly."

Her aunt went on to say she gave her the nickname of "Rocket" because Hailey had some much energy and would always be going a hundred miles per hour.
Peterson said Hailey also loved babies and caring for animals.

Hailey Owens was also a fourth grader at Westport Elementary school.

Principal Gary Tew called her a happy girl with a zest for life.    
"The excitement the girl had and the care she had for life was amazing new students that would come to the class room she would welcome with open arms make them her friend. So that's really the kind of person she was just caring for others and doing unto others as she would want done unto herself."
Hailey was also involved in an after-school church-based club.

And people across the Ozarks turned their porch lights on last night in honor of Hailey.  

The Ozark Fire Department posted this picture on their Facebook page of their lights on for Hailey as well.  
If you have any pictures of your lights on last night for hailey, you can share them with us on the KOLR10 Facebook page.

There's also a memorial in front of the yard where Hailey was abducted.
People there have been putting down signs, flowers, and teddy bears to honor Hailey's memory.

And Hailey's story has reached not just in Springfield...but people across the country.
This Facebook page was set up to remember Hailey Wednesday. In less than 24 hours it has more than 100,000 likes.  

Saturday, there is an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at Applebee's on E. Primrose.  The cost is $5 and all proceeds go to the Owens family.

There is also a candlelight march in memory of Hailey this Saturday at 8:00 pm at Commercial Street and Campbell in Springfield. 

Empire Bank has also set up a memorial account in Hailey's name to help the family with expenses.
Donations can be made at any branch.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Featured Coupon