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Texas Rangers release heavily redacted investigation synopsis for Hailey Dunn murder case

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2021 at 11:28 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It has been 11 years since 13-year-old Hailey Dunn vanished from Colorado City. Nearly three years later her remains were found. On June 14, 2021, the person of interest in the case, Shawn Casey Adkins, was arrested in Howard County and charged with murder. He is being held on a $2 million bond.

Dunn disappeared in December of 2010 when she was just 13 years old. In April 2013 she was found near Lake J.B. Thomas in Scurry County.

After numerous requests for the arrest warrant, the Texas Department of Public Safety released a heavily redacted investigation report on July 28, 2021. Included in the report was a letter from the Attorney General agreeing with the Texas Rangers that most of the report be withheld. The report is 102 pages long and the first three pages were released; however, only three paragraphs were not redacted in the report. The redacted portion was labeled “DPS sensitive.”

The report shows on December 31, 2010, Colorado City Police Chief John Bivins advised a 13-year-old was reported missing from her residence in Colorado City, Texas on December 28, 2010. Chief Bivens identified the missing girl as Hailey Dunn. The report says no indication of foul play was relayed to Texas Ranger Philip Vandygriff by Chief Bivens at that time.

Chief Bivens asked if assistance could be requested from the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tracking Dogs.

Texas Ranger Vandygriff advised Chief Bivens to utilize all resources possible and offered assistance. Vandygriff relayed all information to the Ranger office in Lubbock.

On Jan. 2, 2011, the redacted report shows Vandygriff was told that TDCJ cadaver scent dogs were requested to search the Snyder landfill, where the Colorado City trash was deposited. Vandygriff, Snyder Police Chief Terry Luecke, Mitchell County Sheriff Patrick Toombs, Chief Bivens and Colorado City Police Department Officer Kelsey Alexander monitored the K-9 search of the landfill.

The TDCJ cadaver scent dogs indicated on one location at the landfill. After the trash was exposed in that area, the K-9 no longer indicated on the area and no evidence was found which could be related to Hailey Dunn’s disappearance.

Nowhere in the unredacted portions of the investigation report was Shawn Adkins name mentioned.

Adkins, the live-in boyfriend of the victim’s mother Billie Jean Dunn, is the only person of interest that authorities have identified in the past 11 years.

He was arrested on June 14, 2021.

From previous affidavits in the case, early in the investigation Adkins told police Hailey was going to a friend’s house on December 27, 2010, but she never arrived.

Then in January, a few days later, the Texas Rangers and the FBI got involved and said the friend Hailey was supposedly going to visit said she was never expecting her.

Days after that, Billie Jean Dunn, Hailey’s mother, admitted she and Adkins failed lie detector tests concerning Hailey’s whereabouts, according to law enforcement, and Adkins was named as a person of interest.

Meanwhile, authorities searched landfills, fields and wooded areas hoping to find Hailey.

More than two years had passed with no sign of the 13-year-old girl... until April of 2013, when her remains were discovered at the Lake JB Thomas in Scurry County.

According to affidavits in the case, Adkins had previously threatened Billie and Hailey’s life.

Documents about serial killers were also found in Billie’s home where Adkins lived.

Billie was arrested in March of 2011 for lying to police about where Adkins was and she was given a year of probation.

In 2020, the district attorney for the 32nd Judicial District, Ricky Thompson, consulted with the Texas Rangers Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program (UCIP) regarding the case, and the Rangers took a new look at the investigation. The Rangers interviewed several people, and Adkins was identified as the suspect in Dunn’s slaying.

A search warrant was obtained to collect Adkins’ DNA. After samples were collected on June 13, an arrest warrant was obtained and Adkins was arrested on Monday, Jun 14, 2021 and taken to the Howard County Jail in Big Spring. He was then transferred to the Mitchell County Detention Center on Tuesday, June 15.

The 32nd Judicial District of Texas for Nolan, Mitchell and fisher Counties released a statement saying:

The 32nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office would like to confirm that Shawn Adkins has been arrested in connection to the murder of Hailey Dunn. Our office has not and will not be releasing any details of this case. Information will be released by public record and court proceedings, in due process. This has been a multi-county and multi-agency effort and is still under investigation. Any statements made that have not been provided by the 32nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, have not been made by our direction. Our office believes the integrity of this case should be preserved until a time that it can be properly presented m a court of law.

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

December 27th, 2010: Hailey Dunn goes missing. Shawn Adkins, Hailey’s mother’s boyfriend, is the last to see Hailey. He tells authorities Hailey was going to go to a friend’s house, but she never made it.

January 2nd-4th, 2011: Texas Rangers and the FBI get involved in the disappearance of Hailey. Authorities say the friend Hailey was supposedly going to visit says she was never expecting Hailey.

January 6th, 2011: Billboards with Hailey’s picture and missing information are put up across parts of Texas. On this same day, Billie Jean Dunn, Hailey’s mother, admits she and Adkins failed lie detector tests concerning Hailey’s whereabouts.

January 12th 2011: New documents are revealed and Adkins becomes a person of interest in the case. Affidavits say Adkins had previously threatened Billie and Hailey’s life back in February of 2010. Documents about serial killers were also found in Billie’s home where Adkins lives.

January 15th, 2011: Cadaver dogs search the landfill in Abilene for human remains, but nothing is found. Authorities later search the landfill in Big Spring, the town where Adkins’ mother lives.

January through February: Prayer vigils and searches continue in Colorado City. Searches by volunteers are hindered for several weeks due to freezing temperatures.

February 25th 2011: Authorities find thousands of pictures of child pornography on a memory stick found in Billie’s home and a computer in Adkins’ mother’s home.

March 17th 2011: Billie admits she lied to police about Adkins’ whereabouts. She is taken into custody.

March 30th, 2011: Colorado City authorities hold a press conference saying they are investigating the case as if Hailey is deceased or under duress.

June 15th 2011: Billie is given a year of probation. Reports say she and Adkins moved to Austin.

June 19th 2011: Search efforts by volunteers dwindle as time goes by.

December 27, 2011: One year has passed since Hailey went missing.

March 16, 2013: Remains found near Lake J.B. Thomas southwest of Snyder.

April 26, 2013: Scurry County officials confirm identity.

June 14, 2021: Shawn Adkins arrested and charged with murder.

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