BIG SPRING, Texas (Nexstar) – The news of an arrest is being considered a big break in the decades-old case of Hailey Dunn.
“I think it’s about time. I’m glad,” said Lou Sherman.
“She should have been alive today,” said Craig Panek.
“10 years, he’s been out. He’s been a suspect since day one,” said Adrian Yanez.
Adrian is talking about the murder suspect, Shawn Casey Adkins. Adkins was considered the only person of interest in the disappearance and death of 13-year-old Hailey Dunn.
The Colorado City teen was reported missing in December 2010. Her remains were found near Lake JB Thomas in Scurry County in 2013.
Adkins is in the Mitchell County Jail on a $2 million bond.
“He’s right down the street from my son, my granddaughter,” said Lou Sherman. “They didn’t let the kids outside. If they did, they watched them. They made them ride their bikes a different way and kept an eye on them.”
Three neighbors confirmed the address of the Adkins family home. When contacted by YourBasin.com for comment, the family was unavailable.
Craig Panek lives up the road from the family.
“10 years, it’s been a long time. Maybe they didn’t have all the evidence,” Panek said. “It’s never too late, as long as the person who did it is still alive.”
Despite the age of the case, Hailey’s story is still fresh on the mind of Adrian Yanez.
“Honestly, I don’t ever think it’s too late. Because there is no statute of limitations on murder. The only reason why I don’t think they got the guy from the beginning is because there wasn’t enough evidence on him,” Yanez said. “I have kids of my own. She was just a little girl. I have a little girl that’s 11. She was what? 13?”
One man who spoke on the condition of anonymity said his best friend has ties to the Dunn family.
“My friend and I were talking about him, we knew, it was just a feeling that we had, that it was him,” the man said. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together.”
The other big focus in the wake of the arrest is the importance of keeping Hailey’s name alive.
“It has been kept alive, all these years. Through Facebook, through newspapers, in the situation with him being arrested, everybody has obviously thought about her,” Sherman said.
Richard Thompson of the 32nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which represents Nolan, Mitchell, and Fisher Counties, released this statement on Tuesday:
“The 32nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office would like to confirm that Shawn Adkins has been arrested in connection to the murder of Hailey Dunn. Our office has not and will not be releasing any details of this case. Information will be released by public record and court proceedings, in due process. This has been a multi-county and multi-agency effort and is still under investigation.
Any statements made that have not been provided by the 32nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, have not been made by our direction. Our office believes the integrity of this case should be preserved until a time that it can be properly presented in a court of law.”