Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Disappearance and Murder of Hailey Dunn

One of the last known images of Hailey Dunn(13), taken on Christmas Day 2010. She vanished from her home in Colorado City, Texas just two days later. In March 2013, her remains were found in Scurry County. Her death was labeled as a homicide.
 
Hailey had spent Christmas 2010 at her mother Billie Jean Dunn's Colorado City, Texas home, where they lived with Hailey's older brother David Dunn and Billie's new boyfriend, Shawn Adkins. According to those who were close to her, Hailey did not like Shawn and often felt afraid of him. Despite this, Hailey seemed to enjoy herself on Christmas. Her grandmother Connie Jones stated that Hailey was in good spirits that day--she was excited about the things she had gotten for Christmas, especially her new iPod. Unfortunately, this was the last time that Connie ever got to see Hailey alive--as she vanished just days later.

Hailey and David with their mother Billie, and her boyfriend Shawn Adkins

Billie reported Hailey missing on the afternoon of December 28th, 2010. She told police that Hailey was last seen by Shawn a day earlier. By Shawn's account, Hailey left the home on foot after telling him she was going to her father's house and then to her friend's house for a sleepover. However, Hailey's father Clint Dunn said that Hailey never arrived at his house--nor did she ever arrive at her friend's house. Said friend would later tell police that she and Hailey never actually had plans to meet up that day.

Investigators initially treated Hailey's disappearance as a runaway, but reclassified her case to a 'missing child' status just days later. In January 2011, Hailey's disappearance gained national attention after Nancy Grace and other mainstream media outlets reported on the case. Around this time, suspicions began to build against both Shawn and Billie. Many found Shawn's version of events questionable, especially because nobody was able to corroborate his statements. Additionally, many found the behaviors of both Shawn and Billie to be odd for people searching for a missing daughter. The couple reportedly hosted a New Year's Eve party just days after Hailey went missing. Shawn and Billie celebrated the new year as if nothing was wrong, then tearfully pleaded for Hailey's safe return during a publicized candlelight vigil a 48 hours later.

In the months that followed Hailey's disappearance, investigators followed many leads and obtained many warrants. Shawn and Billie took polygraph exams, and both reportedly failed. An abundance of additional evidence was gathered as well, but Hailey herself remained missing. Despite all of the evidence, Hailey's case appeared to grow cold as years began to tick by without any sign of her. That finally changed in March 2013, when human remains were found in a remote area of Scurry County. Over a month later, those remains were confirmed that of Hailey Dunn. Her death was classified as a murder. 

Although Hailey's remains were found years ago, no arrests have been made in the case. Her father Clint Dunn has continued to prioritize finding justice for Hailey. Clint, amongst many others, believes that Shawn Adkins and Billie Dunn are the persons responsible for Hailey's disappearance and death. The abundance of evidence in the case suggests this as well.

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Early into the investigation, detectives were able to obtain access to cell phone and bank records belonging to both Shawn and Billie, which revealed a bit more information about the events leading up to Hailey's disappearance. On the morning of December 27th, 2010, Shawn arrived at his job in Snyder around 6am. He then got into a fight with his boss and ultimately ended up quitting. Shawn left his job approximately 10 minutes after arriving. He told detectives that he went straight from Snyder to his mother's house in Big Spring...but the cell phone pings prove otherwise. Between 6:35 and 6:56am, Shawn's phone pinged off of a tower in Colorado City--an approximate 48 miles away from Big Spring. His phone did ping off of a tower in Big Spring later that day, between the hours of 9:38am-2:40pm. Shawn claimed that he was back in Colorado City at 3pm and saw Hailey for the last time at 3:15pm. However, the cell phone pings confirmed that Shawn was still in Big Spring at 2:40--making it very unlikely that he was able to travel back to Colorado City by 3pm.

Distance from Big Spring to Colorado City--approx. 40 miles. (Google maps)

Hailey's older brother David confirmed that Shawn was back at their home in Colorado City by 4pm. David reportedly returned to the house to find it locked. He banged on the door for 5 minutes before eventually entering the home through a window. Once inside, David noticed that Shawn was already inside the house with their uncle. The uncle was heard saying he could not believe anyone would hurt a 13 year-old girl, to which Shawn replied, "it's like killing a deer." It's important to note that at this point, David was unaware that his sister had gone missing. Hailey was not reported missing until nearly 24 hours later. This conversation that David overheard took place approximately 45 minutes after Shawn claims that Hailey left the house to go to her father's house.

Later that evening, Shawn picked Billie up from her job in Snyder. The couple stopped at two different ATM machines, where Billie withdrew money totaling in $140. Billie originally said that money was withdrawn so they could by gas and groceries, but investigators stated that the couple used the cash to buy narcotics. It concerned investigators that Shawn and Billie were possibly using narcotics inside a home where children were present. Their concerns continued to build once investigators search the bedroom and computer that Shawn and Billie shared. These searches left investigators with over "250 pages of materials focused on mass murderers, serial killers, sexual sadism, and family member murders."There was also evidence found that Shawn accessed child pornography. 

On March 17th, 2011, Billie was arrested and charged after lying to police about the whereabouts of Shawn --who was reportedly in her house at the time police came to look for him. Billie claimed that her and Shawn were broken up by this point, but she still attempted to cover for him. In June 2011, she was sentenced to probation for the charges. Billie served her probation over 250 miles away in Travis County, where she moved after her arrest.

Billie Dunn in court (oaoa.com)

After this, news about Hailey's case seemed to fade. Shawn Adkins remained a person of interest, but he was not arrested or charged with anything related to Hailey's disappearance. It would be another two years before any significant updates in Hailey's case. Unfortunately, the next big update was the discovery of her remains in March 2013. After the remains were identified, her loved ones' worst fears were confirmed: Hailey had been murdered. Investigators have never publicly revealed her cause of death, but her father said that he was told she most likely died of blunt force trauma.

In the years that have followed the discovery of Hailey's body, Clint Dunn has dedicated himself to finding justice for his daughter. In recent years, he has used social media to plead for help and to share his thoughts on the case. Clint continues to maintain that both Shawn and Billie were involved in Hailey's death. He believes that Shawn attacked Hailey with help from Billie either in the attack itself and/or in covering up the crime. Clint also said that investigators do not often update him on the case, but he has continued to push for the arrest of both Shawn and Billie.

Clint and Hailey Dunn

Clint Dunn's appeals on social media caught the attention of an unnamed individual who reportedly found several items belonging to Hailey in a public place during late spring/early summer 2011. The individual who found the items was in middle school at the time, and did not know Hailey or about her disappearance. Due to this, the individual did not tell authorities about finding the items. Years later, in 2019, the individual--now an adult--saw one of Clint's posts about Hailey's case. It was then that the individual remembered that one of the items found years earlier had the name 'Hailey Dunn' on it. The individual then messaged Clint to tell him about it. The items and the location where they were found have not been publicly revealed, but Clint stated that they were found in an area that was searched numerous times in the initial stages of the investigation.

As of today, Hailey's case still remains unsolved. There is a $15000 reward in place for anyone with information that leads to the arrest of Hailey's killer(s). If you have any information that could help the investigation, please go here to submit an anonymous tip.

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