SPECIAL REPORT: Justice for Hailey

SPECIAL REPORT: Justice for Hailey

A burning question hangs in the air, not only in Colorado City, but across West Texas.  When will we know what really happened to Hailey Dunn?  

"I don't think I've ever asked for help, actually," Haley's father, Clint recalls. "I'm asking for help now."

A lot of people have been searching and waiting for an answer to that question,  but probably none as anxiously as Hailey's father, Clint. 

"Man, that was such a hectic time. I didn't know what to do. It had never crossed my mind that this would ever happen. I wasn't prepared for it, and i was running around like a chicken with his head cut off."

His daughter's disappearance sent Clint on a downward spiral into an abyss that, at the time, had no escape. 

In the midst of all the darkness, Clint never lost sight of Hailey.

"I was very depressed, very depressed and feeling of guilt that i didn't protect her," says Clint. "I was her greatest protector and I felt like I failed there. It absolutely knocked me down."

Hailey was only 13 when her mother, Billie Dunn, reported her missing December 28, 2010.  

Investigators say the last person to see Hailey was her mother's then live-in boyfriend, Shawn Adkins, on the afternoon of December 27. Billie and Shawn have their own versions of what happened that day.

Sworn affidavits, filed in the months after Hailey's disappearance, say nothing was missing from her room; not her money, her favorite clothes, or even her new ipod.  

Hailey's brother, David, said she was playing a video game in the living room when he left the house around 9 p.m. on Sunday, December 26.  

Clint recalls the last time he saw Hailey, too. "It was the day after Christmas. She spent the night with me on Christmas night, and she had slept in until around 11 that morning.  I was in the living room, watching TV.  She briefly came to me and told me she was going home. I gave her a hug and sent her on her way. [Billie] thought she was at Mary Beth's. Then we found out she hadn't been to Mary Beth's."

Hailey was very familiar with the area, having lived in Colorado City all of her life. It's not likely for her to have gotten lost, and it was not like her to just take off without telling anyone, especially her mother.  

Even so, no one in the neighborhood reported seeing Hailey take a walk that day.  

For Clint, things just weren't adding up.  he says Colorado City Police were telling him Hailey had simply run away.  

"Everybody told the police, 'That's not even in her vocabulary.' She's not a runaway.  She did not run away with anybody. She did not run away at all.  We stressed that to police,  but it still took them seven days to see that this wasn't a runaway. "

As the investigation continued, police started noticing inconsistencies in Shawn Adkins' statements, especially around the day of Hailey's disappearance. Shawn soon became a person of interest.  

One year went by, then two, and still no new leads in the case. Folks in Colorado City remained hopeful but that proved to be harder for some than others.

"After a year had passed, I was thinking she was gone. I felt it. I was exhausted, absolutely exhausted."

Then, in March 2013, police got a possible break.  

Human remains were found near Lake J.B. Thomas, near Snyder, in Scurry County. That's not far from Colorado City.  

If they turned out to be Hailey, it would be the end of one nightmare and the start of another for Clint. "The first thing I did was picture my daughter dead, and that absolutely destroyed me when i found out she was gone.  There was no finding her alive."

If it was not Hailey, everything would go on as it had for the two years, Clint thought.  It was a double-edged sword.

"I was relieved she wasn't locked up in a cage the whole time, or still being tortured and raped. So, it somewhat relieved me in a way to know my daughter wasn't suffering."

Then, in April, everyone's worst fears were realized. The remains found were positively identified as Hailey. It was a blow that, try as he might, Clint was not ready for.  

"It was a hard knock. It was a hard punch to the face. Before the body had been sent off to be examined and verified, yeah, I knew it was her."  

The five year anniversary of Hailey's disappearance is coming up. Her remains were found and identified more than two years ago. One would think the case was close to being wrapped up.

It frustrates Clint to think that his daughter's disappearace and death may not be any closer to being solved today than before. 

"The case has gone from law enforcement to law enforcement. Each time, they start all back over on the case and end up no where. Every time."

A lot has changed in Colorado City in the last five years. The teddy bears and memorials that once stood, in hope of finding Hailey, have been taken down and are now stored inside a shed in the back yard of Hailey's house.  

The home itself is abandoned, declared unsafe and in danger of being torn down by the city. 

However, one thing hasn't changed. There is still an urgent cry and an insatiable thirst to find justice for hailey.    

"I'm just going to say it like this: we all know who did this," Clint said. "It's not fair that this type of person gets to go free after doing such a horrible thing to such an innocent person."