By Devin SanchezNewsWest 9
COLORADO CITY - "If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things and that's what I will do. I will think about lovely Hailey Darlene Dunn with a smile on my face," Hailey's cheerleading sponsor, said.
Everything surrounding the circumstances of 13-year-old Hailey Dunn's murder and disappearance was set aside Sunday as hundreds gathered to say goodbye.
"I can't wait till the next time I get to see you. I'm gonna miss you a lot, and I love you," Hailey's best friend, Heather, said in a slide show of pictures of the young girl.
"Hailey, I love you and we'll see you again. Until then, I'll miss you everyday," her grandmother said.
There were prayers, songs and memories shared of a young woman who, according to those who knew her best, was spunky.
"She had a glint of mischief in her eyes and quite a way with words," her cheerleading sponsor remembered. Her basketball coach added, "In the classroom, Hailey was quiet and well-mannered, but when she got on the court, her competitive drive took over."
In a pre-recorded message, Hailey's mom, Billie, said her goodbyes to her daughter, and thanked Hailey's dad, Clint.
"Thank you Clint for giving me such a beautiful daughter, thank you to my son for being such a great brother and friend to my sweet Hailey. Thank you, Hailey, for being my sweet baby. I will love you forever and one day and I'll you see in my dreams," Billie said in the message.
Many at the memorial sobbed, some for a girl they had never even met.
"I started watching it when I lived in Las Vegas and I felt like we should be here since we live here now," one attendee said.
NewsWest 9 asked one woman if she knew Hailey or her family.
"No, I met Clint after Hailey disappeared," she said.
At the end, some of Hailey's classmates stood at the front of Colorado Middle School's gym, with candles, as Hailey's pictures flashed across a screen; Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" playing in the background.
"She's more than a pretty face, more than a jokester, more than intelligent, more than a saxophone player, more than an athlete, more than a little determined. She's now a blissfully angel," Billie said in her message.