COLORADO CITY Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- The arrest of Shawn Adkins for the murder of Hailey Dunn washed over West Texas like a tidal wave. Many longtime residents had no doubt heard his name several times in the decade-long investigation into the disappearance and murder of the Colorado City teen.
Though his name followed by a murder charge is not as familiar a tune, this development has many hoping that justice for Hailey is now within reach.
“Well I’m glad that they’ve got someone in custody and hopefully this will be resolved because it’s gone on too long,” said Colorado City resident Angie Thomas.
With a case that has drawn county and state police, Texas Rangers and national media attention to a small West Texas town, some citizens say they have noticed a change in daily life.
“There was never anything like that here, you felt safe going anywhere,” said Resident June Turnage.
“You lock your doors at night and it’s not the same,” Thomas says.
Even so, some, like Hailey’s former middle school principal Mark Merrill, are concerned that the drama and circumstances of Hailey’s death have overshadowed the good that she did in life.
“Any time a step is made we hope that justice will be done for Hailey. So we’re hoping that will transpire, but you still want to remember her life in a positive light, remember the good things that she did,” said Merrill.
“She had done 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at our campus and was a great student. She was respected by the teachers and her classmates,” Merrill continued. “We don’t want to forget who she was and what she meant to our community.”
Now, whether shocked at the arrest or not, C-City residents agree that whatever path leads to truth and justice will be worth it to heal this grieving town.
“I know they can’t live their lives like they would have, but hopefully they can feel closure,” says Turnage.