Nearly 11 years after the mysterious disappearance of Hailey Dunn, an arrest has been made in the 13-year-old girl’s death.
Shawn Adkins, the ex-boyfriend of Hailey’s mom, was charged with murder on Monday, according to the sheriff’s office in Howard County, Texas. Authorities have not commented on the events that led to Adkins’ arrest.
Adkins was identified as a person of interest in the weeks that followed Hailey’s disappearance in Colorado City, according to KCBD.
The girl’s body was discovered in March 2013 — more than two years after she went missing — near Lake JB Thomas in Scurry County, KTAB reported.
Private investigator Erica Morse told the Abilene Reporter News the arrest didn’t come as a surprise.
“Mr. Dunn and I had a meeting with the Mitchell County District Attorney about 30 days ago,” Morse said. “During that meeting, we were assured that during he month of June, Hailey’s killer would be arrested.”
Billie Dunn, Hailey’s mother, said she is thankful Adkins will “pay for what he did here on earth,” KAMC reported. The mother was previously arrested in 2011 and given a year of probation after telling police she lied about Adkins’ whereabouts, according to KCBD.
Jail records show Adkins was being held in Howard County on a $2 million bond. He was later released to another agency.
How was Hailey remembered?
Hailey was a student at Colorado Middle School, where she was a cheerleader, played sports, and was a member of the band team, according to the San Angelo Standard-Times.
“She’d always make us laugh,” her friend, Kathryn Willburn, said in 2013, the Standard-Times reported. “She was random. She’d come up with the funniest things that weren’t even part of the conversation. She knew what she wanted, and she’d say it to a person.”
Clint Dunn described his 13-year-old daughter as popular and “just a good ol’ American girl,” the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported in 2011.
During a 2013 memorial service, Hailey’s cheerleading sponsor described Hailey as a girl who “had a glint of mischief in her eyes and quite a way with words” KWES reported. Her basketball coach said she was quiet, well-mannered, but competitive.
“She’s more than a pretty face, more than a jokester, more than intelligent, more than a saxophone player, more than an athlete, more than a little determined. She’s now a blissfully angel,” Billie Dunn said during the 2013 memorial, according to KWES.
Her funeral was held in 2017 as a private, family gathering, according to the Hope for Hailey Dunn page on Facebook. The day brought “tears of many emotions,” but the family said they were grateful to bring Hailey home.