Timeline of the Hailey Dunn Case

Published 10/22 2012 04:53PM

Updated 04/26 2013 05:06PM

It's a case that's been plagued with heartache and controversy since day one -- and it all started on December 27th, 2010, when 13-year-old Hailey Dunn failed to come home from a friend's house.

Just days after her daughter's disappearance, Hailey's mother Billie Dunn had this to say:
"I really hope she left on her own free will and is scared to come home at this point, but we all want her back, we have to have her."

In three days' time, on December 30th, 2010, and for the days, weeks and months after, search crews combed every inch of Colorado City -- from the ground and from the air.

On January 14th, 2011, police named Shawn Adkins, Hailey's mother's live-in boyfriend, the sole suspect.

Adkins spoke out in an interview exclusive to KTAB News on February 7th, 2011, saying he thought he was the subject of a witch hunt.

"I had nothing to do with Hailey's disappearance, I love Hailey with all my heart and she means a lot to me," Adkins said. "Even though I've known her for only two and a half years, I would never do nothing to her and like I said, I just hope for her safe return.".

Days later, police reveal they need more evidence to arrest Adkins.

But on February 25th, 2011, during a search of the home the couple shared, images of what was first believed to be child pornography on a memory stick were discovered by investigators.

On March 17th, 2011, Billie Dunn is in handcuffs, after being arrested on three charges in connection with the case. She later admitted to lying about Adkins' whereabouts.

"I told them I didn't know where Shawn was," Dunn said as she walked out of jail.

In June of 2011, in the city of Dunn --the battle over a makeshift memorial created by a group called Hailey's Angels came to a head when teddy bears and mementos were tossed callously from a bridge.

"We all want to see Hailey come home, but it's a danger as far as cars coming on this road," explained one Dunn resident.

And on August 28th, 2011, eight months since she was reported missing, family and friends celebrated Hailey's fourteenth birthday in her honor, writing messages on balloons and sending them off into the sky.

"We can bring her home, absolutely," said one family friend at the celebration.

In the months and year that followed, the case garnered national attention, headlining on Nancy Grace and covered by every major media outlet.

And still, no real answers and no sign of Hailey.

All the while and without fail, the Hope for Hailey group stood strong, covering the town in orange ribbons and fliers, holding constant prayer vigils, and keeping their hope alive.

A new year -- and months of silence in the investigation.

Then, on March 20th, 2012, a flicker of hope -- and fear -- when human remains are discovered in Big Spring near Adkins' mother's home.

Hope quickly extinguished when the bones turned out to be those of someone other than Hailey Dunn.

At a vigil held for Hailey in her hometown of Colorado City, the mood remained somber.

"We all wanted it to be her, and everyone kept saying, no matter what, we want Hailey home. We want Hailey home, we don't care how we get her home, we just want her home," said a Hope for Hailey volunteer. "And last week we found out, we do care how we get her home -- we want Hailey home alive."

Fruitless searches continued, tips poured in by the thousands, investigators worked dead-end leads and more months without Hailey crawled by.

Then, on June 1st, 2012, renowned psychic Gale St. John visited Colorado City, to aid in the search -- and turned up no new clues, as the investigation into Hailey's disappearance hit yet another wall.

And it would remain that way, as Hailey's birthday was celebrated on August 28th, 2012, once again, without the guest of honor.

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