'Those Kinds Of Cases Are The Ones Most Likely To Have A Tragic End'

BENTONVILLE, AR. --- Ten year old Hailey Owens was abducted and murdered on Tuesday. According to police, a complete stranger kidnapped and killed Owens.

Stephanie Smith with the National Child Protection Center in Bentonville said its mission is to eradicate child abuse, including kidnappings.

"People need to understand that perpetrators exist everywhere. They exist in Springfield, Missouri and Bentonville, Arkansas," said Smith. "The unfortunate reality is that those kinds of cases are the ones most likely to have a tragic end like we did here with Hailey. There is no way to tell where a child is most at risk. Springfield, Missouri is a place you'd think a child would be pretty safe. It's not the stereotypical 'guy hiding in the trench coat."
According to Smith, the old saying to keep kids safe, might not stand true anymore.

"Stranger danger really does need to be on the way out," said Smith. "What's really important is for parents to talk very openly with their children. Not in a way that will terrify the children."

Smith said it's best to give specific examples to your children like 'what would you do if someone asked you tot come help you with something or says their hurt?'

Another tip? A family code word.

"Someone comes and says 'mom or dad is hurt. I'm going to take you there.' Have code words within your family. This is a word we only use between us. We only use when it an emergency. So ask for the code word," said Smith.

Benton and Washington County Sheriff's offices both have plans that they utilize in schools to educate kids on safety.

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