Now, more than a decade later, Dunn’s mother’s boyfriend at the time, Shawn Adkins, has been arrested and charged with murder.
Adkins, who was named as a person of interest in the girl’s disappearance in the months after she went missing, was booked into the Howard County Jail on a $2 million bond Monday, records show. He was transferred to the Mitchell County Jail, where he was being held Tuesday morning, according to Abilene Reporter-News.
He was living with Hailey and her mother, Billie Dunn, when the teen went missing on December 27, 2010. Adkins told police at the time that Hailey said she was going to visit her father nearby then spend the night at a friend’s house, but she never showed up at either place.
The next day, Billie Dunn reported her daughter missing. Billie was accused of lying to police about the whereabouts of Adkins, and pleaded no contest in June 2011 to making a false report to law enforcement, receiving a suspended 90-day jail term with probation.
She told KTAB and KRBC Monday that she is “so elated and so relieved” that her former boyfriend has been arrested in the case.
“I’m not really shocked at the news that it was Shawn,” Billie Dunn told the local news outlet. “Of course you would’ve hoped it wasn’t him because I stayed with him after she left, after Hailey went missing, but I’m not surprised, and I thank God that that person has been apprehended and is going to pay for what he did here on Earth.”
Erica Morse – a private investigator who was hired by Hailey’s father, Clint Dunn – told the Abilene Reporter-News that they were expecting the arrest soon.
“This is not a surprise,” she told the newspaper. “Mr. Dunn and I had a meeting with the Mitchell County district attorney about 30 days ago. During that meeting, we were assured that during the month of June, Hailey’s killer would be arrested.”
Clint Dunn has long suspected that Shawn Adkins killed his daughter, telling KTAB and KRBC in 2010 that his ex-wife and her former boyfriend redecorated their living room and tried to have a “witchcraft book” destroyed in the months after Hailey’s disappearance.
“I’m 99% sure someone killed Hailey at this house,” Clint told the local news outlet. “And, I’m pretty sure it’s Shawn.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.