Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Disappearance and Murder of Hailey Dunn

Pictured above is 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 all 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 in 2013, years ticked by without any movement in her case. Her father Clint Dunn continued to prioritize finding justice for Hailey. Clint, amongst many others, believed 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.


The cell phone records.

Early into the investigation, detectives were able to obtain access to cell phone and bank records belonging to both Shawn and Billie. Said records 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. 

Shawn later 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 3:00 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 3:00.

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

The evening of the disappearance.

Hailey's older brother David confirmed that Shawn was back at their home in Colorado City by 4:00 PM. 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, having a conversation about possibly hurting a child.

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. 

Drug use, computer searches, and Billie's arrest.

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 (

The discovery of remains.

After Billie's court date, 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 initially did not publicly reveal her cause of death, but her father said that he was told she most likely died of blunt force trauma.

Clint Dunn's quest for justice.

In the years that 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.

More specifically, Clint 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

The discovery of Hailey's items.

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.

Shawn Adkin's arrest.

Another two years passed without any updates in the case. Then, in June 2021, Shawn Adkins was arrested and charged with Hailey’s murder. He was held behind bars in Howard County on $2 million bond. 

In December 2022, Shawn was officially indicted. It was then publicly revealed via court documents that investigators believed that Shawn struck Hailey with a blunt force object, leading to her death. Investigators also believe that Shawn then hid her body. 

Charges dropped without prejudice.

Two years after Shawn's arrest, another twist occurred in the case. In June 2023, a motion was filed to drop the charges against Shawn without prejudice. This means that the prosecution hopes to charge Shawn again once more evidence is collected. The motion specifically states that "the prosecution views Shawn Casey Adkins as the primary suspect in the Hailey Dunn murder. . . however, additional work must be done before the case can proceed to a jury trial."

The prosecution cites five main issues that have led to the charges being dropped: a Brady Notice, alternate leads, geological forensic evidence, a forensic anthropology report, and cell phone data. The Brady Notice is an official document that informs the defendant that the prosecution has evidence that could be favorable to the defense.

The alternate leads have emerged due to the fact that several different agencies have investigated Hailey's disappearance over the years. Due to this, the prosecution says that "many of the tips and leads were not properly vetted, investigated, or cleared."

The geological forensic evidence was a key piece of evidence that the prosecution planned to present at trial; however, they have now learned that it may not hold up in court. Specifically, the evidence involves soil samples collected from Shawn Adkins' work boots. According to the documents, "Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) was the testing method used to compare the samples to soil samples collected from the site where Hailey’s body was found in 2013, leading an expert to conclude the soil from the boots had a 'high degree of chemical similarity with soil samples collected from the remains site.'"

However, when the FBI tested the soil from the boots and the remains site, they were unable to match the two samples. Additionally, the prosecution was informed that NIRS is not known as a reliable method of soil testing, therefore the evidence provided by NIRS would not hold up in court.

The next key issue with the case stems from Hailey's forensic anthropology report. The report states that Hailey likely died from blunt force trauma, which would have led to significant bleeding. The court documents state that, "despite multiple searches of Hailey’s home and a vehicle connected to the case when she disappeared in 2010, there is no evidence any immediate forensic testing was done. Prosecutors say this is also true for the site where her remains were found, and they believe the evidence needs further examination and testing to see if it has any additional value before proceeding to court."

The final cited issue has to do with cell phone data. Records from both Shawn and Hailey's phones state that they pinged off of separate towers shortly before 3:00 PM on the day of Hailey's disappearance. This changes the timeline in which prosecutors previously relied on, therefore more evidence needs to be collected to create a more accurate timeline. 

At this time, Shawn has been released from custody. The search for justice in Hailey's case continues. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact authorities at 928-875-2695.


  1. so OBVIOUS that it was the step father/mothers boyfriends. The investigators in this case are amateurs. Sad

  2. If the investigator is the PI who has bashed each and every law enforcement, to include the Colorado City Police, Mitchell County Sheriff and their DA, along with the FBI, and the DPS plus the Texas Rangers, then the above comment is correct, accord to her. She is taking praise for breaking this case open. And everyone knows, it wasn't her. But she loves patting herself on the back. She was successful in helping Clinton Dunn his SSI and then his young daughter's SSI. She had them living with her and doing podcast to garner sympathy always asking for donations to help pay for further research on the case. She will write a book once the case is resolved. She has been involved from the beginning to garner recognition and money. I think the father's grief is real but he only started his podcast and interviews the last 2 years. He has been severely, used.

  3. I agree that it was VERY obviously the stepfather. The girl was even uncomfortable around him. HUGE red flags signaling he was/is a Sociopath. I pray to God these mothers will focus more on being mothers until their children are adults instead of looking for boyfriends.

  4. It drives me insane when women put their boyfriends before their children. I'm not a feminist by any means but, ladies, you do not need a man to validate your existence. If you have children their safety and needs Come before ANY man. You brought them into this world so do what's RIGHT.