COLORADO CITY, TX—Friends and family who spent years searching for 13 year-old Hailey Dunn after she went missing came together Tuesday to honor her life, the day after Shawn Adkins, the man who was dating Hailey’s mother at the time, was arrested and charged with her murder.
Three years after Hailey was last seen in 2010, her body was discovered near Lake J.B Thomas in Scurry County.
The vigil took place where Hailey’s home once stood before it was demolished in 2015. Members of the search team said they remember so well walking these street searching for her for years.
“No kid should be taken away because it’s not right,” said Linda Fox who was a member of Hailey’s search team.
“She had a big smile, a big smile and the bubbliest personality,” said Fox.
Fox knew Hailey before she disappeared and helped to search for her since late 2010. For the two years after her disappearance, Fox went out every weekend.
“I knew we had to. I knew we had to get answers and we had to find out what happened,” said Fox.
But Terrye Newcomb and April Wuehba, also part of the search team with Fox, never knew Hailey.
“It was on the news everyday, and I watched it everyday and it was about 10 o’clock — four or five nights in — and I just looked over at my husband and said, “I’ll be back. I’m going to my mom’s,” said Wuehba
Driving from Breckenridge as often as they could to help find her. Shawn Adkins arrest brings with it many emotions not only for Hailey’s family but the search team as well.
“I dropped the phone and of course I started crying, cause I didn’t think it would ever happen in my time,” said Newcome.
“She was a sweet little girl, she didn’t deserve what happened to her,” said Fox.
While those at her vigil say this is a step in the right direction, the fight for justice isn’t over.
“We’ve never stopped, and we are still going back over old notes, watching old interviews, checking out on Google Earth; We are still checking out [every] place and just trying to find that one thing, and whatever we can do. So, Hailey has never not been in our lives,” said Wuehba
Adkins was held Tuesday on a $2 million bond. Hailey’s father also released a statement Tuesday saying: “Right now, there are no words to define how I feel. We will let the trial speak the truth. Thank you to everyone who searched for Hailey, and to those who fought tirelessly for an arrest. Hopefully, true justice will come in the courtroom”.