Thousands of Springfield-area residents marched Saturday night in memory of Hailey Owens.
“We had people standing side by side, arms locked, on each side of the street,” said Joe Bridges, one of the organizers of the procession along Springfield’s Commercial Street.
More than three-quarters of the marchers were carrying candles, Bridges said in a telephone interview. At the end of the procession, marchers sang “Amazing Grace” and observed a moment of silence for Hailey, who was abducted and killed last week in Springfield.
“I think we showed not only the United States but the world what we can do when we are unified,” said Bridges.
Before the 8 p.m. march, hundreds of residents attended a chili supper fundraiser at a high school, raising money to help Hailey’s family with expenses.
The 10-year-old girl was found shot to death last week in Springfield. Craig Michael Wood, 45, a Springfield middle school football coach and teacher’s aide, has been charged with first-degree murder.