Hailey Dunn billboards reminder of missing teen
ORANGE, TEXAS- Billboards for missing Texas teenager Hailey Darlene Dunn have reached as far as Orange and Jefferson Counties in Southeast Texas near the Louisiana border on Interstate 10.
The Colorado City Middle School cheerleader was reported missing on Dec. 28. Family members and residents of the small Texas community 70 miles west of Abilene are holding on to the hope that Hailey will still be found alive.
After 27 days and exhaustive searches by law enforcement and volunteers, what happened to Hailey Dunn is still a mystery. No statewide Amber Alert has been issued because the case has not met the criteria for issuing such an alert.
Hailey is 5’1, 120 pounds, has hazel eyes, and brown hair with blond streaks. When she disappeared, she was wearing navy blue sweat pants, a light-colored short sleeve T-shirt, and pink and white tennis shoes.
The billboard on Hwy. 73 in Groves shows Hailey’s photo in her cheerleader uniform with the offer of a $10,000 reward for information in the case. The billboards are now throughout much of the state in the hope that someone will see the missing Texas eighth grader.
Shawn Adkins, 25, the former live-in boyfriend of Hailey’s mother, Billie Jean Dunn, told investigators that he last saw Hailey on the afternoon of Dec. 27. Adkins claims the girl told him she was going to her father’s house and then over to a friend’s to spend the night. When it was discovered that she was not at either location her mother reported her missing.
Adkins has been named as a suspect by law enforcement. Billie Jean Dunn, said she asked Adkins to move out Jan. 5, nine days after she reported her daughter missing.
The home of Hailey’s father, Clint Dunn, is a short walk across a vacant field where she visited daily and had spent Christmas and much of the day after before returning home. Friends and strangers have reached out to Dunn to donate flyers and funds to help find Hailey.
In the weeks that have followed since Hailey’s disappearance the case has gone from a missing person case to a criminal investigation. “This is predominantly a criminal investigation,” said Pete Kampfer, city manager in Colorado City and the liaison between law enforcement and the news media. After hundreds of leads, however, there is still no sign of the missing teenager.
The disappearance of Hailey Dunn set off a multicounty search involving 12 law enforcement agencies including the FBI and Texas Rangers. Search groups have scoured rural Mitchell and Scurry Counties and areas north to the town of Dunn. Cadaver dogs were used this week to search area landfills and new search efforts were organized by the KlaasKids Foundation out of California and the Friendswood-based Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children.
Billie Jean Dunn has made numerous appearances on HLN “Nancy Grace.” She continued to conduct interviews with the local media even amid suspicion that she was involved. She and Adkins both failed polygraph tests and affidavits described drug use and other suspicious behavior. Billie Jean Dunn, however, has maintained her innocence and answered the accusations against her in the press.
Although Adkins has hired an attorney, Dunn repeatedly has said she has not hired legal counsel and continues to urge the police and the media to keep Hailey’s photo before the public.
Investigators have been tight-lipped about evidence and developments in the case.
Prayer vigils were held Friday in Colorado City. Another of several vigils that have been held in the community since Hailey disappeared. On Saturday the search effort again concentrated in Scurry County, although areas along the Interstate 20 frontage road near the Wallace Prison Unit in Colorado City also were covered.
State officials refused to issue the Amber Alert, Colorado City officials say, because there is no physical evidence to show that Hailey has been abducted or that she is facing physical harm. The billboards were donated by Lamar Advertising.
Anyone with information regarding Hailey’s whereabouts is urged to call the Colorado City Police Department at 325-728-5294 or 325-728-3161.