Friends, former members of search party honor Hailey Dunn in light of new arrest
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After a major break in her decade-old case, those who were part of Hailey Dunn’s search party gathered across from the 13-year-olds’s childhood home in Colorado City, to remember her.
Some wore their old search party shirts, the back reading “Walk by Faith, not by Sight.”
Others, ribbons of orange and purple.
The latter was the teen’s ‘s favorite color.
“There’s no way that little 13-year-old girl could have done something so bad to deserve what she got,” April Wehba said.
Wehba and her mother, Terry Newcomb, spent 27 months searching for Dunn.
She went missing 11 years ago in December 2010. Three years later, authorities discovered her body southwest of Snyder.
The duo traveled from Breckenridge about two hours away, sometimes giving up every weekend for the search effort.
“We couldn’t stop and we weren’t going to give up. We were not giving up,” Newcomb said.
They say they were not expecting the arrest of Shawn Adkins.
“A shock. I got the call, I dropped the phone and of course I started crying because I didn’t ever think it would happen in my time,” Newcomb said.
But they are not surprised he is now charged with Dunn’s murder.
“In my own opinion, I suspected him from the beginning,” Newcomb said.
And all these years later they are both still searching.
Not for remains, but justice.
That will not come for them until there is a conviction.
“We’re starting a new chapter. And then we’ve got to go to court, and I guarantee we will be sitting in the front row the whole time,” Wehba said.
Dunn’s father, Clinton, was not at the vigil. But he said in a statement:
“Right now, there are no words to define how I feel. We will let the trial speak the truth. Thank you to everyone who searched for Hailey, and to those who fought tirelessly for an arrest. Hopefully, true justice will come in the courtroom.”
Adkins is being held at the Mitchell County detention center on a $2 million bond. The District Attorney’s office has remained mostly silent on the details to preserve the integrity of the case.
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