For more than a decade, the death of 13-year-old Hailey Dunn—who vanished from her Texas home and was found three years later—went unsolved.
But police reportedly have finally made an arrest: the man who was originally identified as the only person of interest in the case, her mother’s boyfriend at the time of Hailey’s disappearance, Shawn Adkins.
Authorities have not said what led them to arrest Adkins after all these years. He was being held on a murder count in lieu of a $2 million bond, jail records show. KCBD reports that Texas Rangers confirmed he was picked up for Hailey’s killing.
A private eye hired by Hailey’s father, Clint Dunn, said the break in the case was “not a surprise.”
“Everyone will learn this moving forward: Clint’s intuition… was the driving force in this case,” the investigator, Erica Morse, told the Abilene Reporter News.
“And he is a template for every parent who wants to find justice for their child.”
Hailey went missing on Dec. 28, 2010; Adkins claimed she left her Colorado City home to visit her dad and then go to see friends, but they never saw her.
Her mother, Billie Jean, was arrested months later and charged with lying to police about Adkins’ whereabouts. She pleaded guilty to a probation violation tied to a previous arrest and got an extra year of probation.
The teen’s remains were found near Lake J.B. Thomas in 2013.
Clint Dunn was suspicious of Adkins from the start and hired Morse to dig into what he believed were clues: the couple redecorating their home after the teen disappeared, a witchcraft book they owned, and a purple rug with a pentagram, KTAB reported.
“I’m 99 percent sure someone killed Hailey at this house,” Clint told the TV station then. “And I’m pretty sure it’s Shawn.”
Billie Jean Dunn told the station on Monday that she was “not really shocked” by her ex-boyfriend’s arrest for the murder of her daughter.
“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,” she said.
“He’s been free to do whatever he wants, and my family has suffered without Hailey,” she added. “Hailey has missed out on graduation, on driving, on going to college, a career. I’ve missed out on so much.”