Anytime a child goes missing in the United States it seems entire communities pitch in to help. One could say that this very case has remained in the public eye because the community refuses to forget. What you are about to read is our transcript for our True Crime Podcast episode we created on the Unsolved Murder of Hailey Dunn. Click here to listen to this Podcast Episode!
If you’re listening to this podcast, I take it is safe to assume that you enjoy true crime cases. I think it is something in our nature, human nature, to be curious about one of the most taboo things in our society….crimes against another person. But sometimes it is easily forgotten that these cases involve real people. Our starkest reminders are those cases that we hear about that make us stop and think….that could have happened to me. This week, American CrimeCast brings you the first episode in a three partseries on the case of Hailey Dunn. This case has more twists and turns than the back country roads where her story takes place.
On December 27, 2010, Billie Dunn peeks in Hailey’s room to find her asleep before leaving for work. When she arrived home that night, Hailey was not home. Her live-in boyfriend Shawn Adkins told her that Hailey had gone to stay the night her friend Mary Beth’s house. The next day, Billie called her son David to ask him to tell Hailey to come home. It is then that it is discovered that Hailey never made it to the sleepover, nor her father’s house the day before. After calling family and friends with no luck, she called Colorado City Police Department to report her missing.
Clint Dunn said he last saw Hailey on the morning of December 26th, after staying the night at his home for Christmas. Her brother David recalls last seeing her playing video games around 9:00 PM before heading to bed. Then Billie saw her the morning of December 27th, just before leaving for work. A neighbor reportedly saw Hailey walking around her backyard, while talking on a cellphone, around noon that day. The last person to see Hailey was her mother’s boyfriend, Shawn Adkins. He says he got home from work that day around 3pmand shortly after getting home,Hailey told him she was going to walk to her father Clint Dunn’s house, then go to her friend Mary Beth’s house for a sleep over. In such a small town, you would think someone would to have seen something…anything. A neighbor of the Dunn’s, Jean Burroughs, came forward saying she remembered seeing Hailey on Dec 27th. Jean was at her beauty shop on 19th and Locust streets. She claims she saw the teenager twice between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Dec. 27. She first saw her walking on East 19th Street, then later saw Hailey walking down the alley behind her beauty shop. “Hailey isabout 5-feet tall, weighs 120 pounds and has brown hair. She was last seen wearing navy blue sweatpants, a light-colored short-sleeve T-shirt and pink and white tennis shoes.”
In the following days, search parties began to convene in and around Colorado City, Texas. There was a sense of urgency trying to find where Hailey had gone and getting an Amber Alert issued became a major point of focus. Her mother Billie Dunn requested an Amber Alert three different times and was turned down each time. Police Chief John Bivens said the minimum standard for creating an Amber Alert is "knowledge of a suspect, a description of a vehicle involved in an abduction and/or a route and direction of travel." Alerts can only be issued when somebody who is 17 or younger is missing and the disappearance has been deemed "unwilling." Police then need to show that the child is in immediate danger and eliminated other scenarios such as a runaway. Finally, there needs to be some other information such as a description of the abductor's vehicle in order to issue an alert.
Just days after her daughter's disappearance, Hailey's mother Billie Dunn had this to say:
"I really hope she left on her own free will and is scared to come home at this point, but we all want her back, we have to have her."
In the mean time, hundreds of volunteers from around the area show up to search the fields and desert terrain around Colorado City and surrounding areas. However, it wasn’t long before Law Enforcement noticed that Billie was not taking part in the searches and neither was Shawn. Not only that, the stories that they were getting were not corroborating with each other. It was not long before the focus began to shift toward Hailey’s mother and her live-in boyfriend. Billie and Shawn were requested to take polygraphs by Law Enforcement. Although Billie is willing to take the first examination, she admitted that she had been under the influence of narcotics and took another test a few days later. The results of that test also indicated that there was deception. As for Shawn Adkins, his did not go much better.According to the affidavit, "on the first two occasions upon his (Adkins) arrival, he terminated the polygraph examinations by walking out and refusing to cooperate with the investigator." The affidavit goes on to say, "on the third attempt to polygraph Adkins, he submitted to the first stage of the polygraph and the result of the polygraph was that he was deceptive." During that same polygraph, according to the affidavit, Adkins indicated that Hailey Dunn could be found in Scurry County. The results of his polygraph, indicated he was telling the truth. However, when investigators asked him, a second time, if he knew where Hailey was, he refused to answer the question. Investigators asked Adkins who they should be looking at, in regards toHailey's disappearance, to which Adkins replied "both of us."
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnr6hSKT_co (AFTER SHAWN TOOK POLYGRAPH)