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Mother of missing Colorado City teen talks of agonizing wait since unidentified remains found

By Braid Blanks, bblanks@ktxs.com
Published On: Mar 20 2013 10:12:56 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2013 11:46:55 AM CDT

We are now hearing from the woman who may be most affected by the recent discovery of a body in Scurry County: Billie Dunn.

Her daughter – missing Colorado City teen Hailey Dunn –has been missing for more than two years.

She got word from an FBI agent Sunday that a body had been found not far from where Hailey went missing. 

She talked only to KTXS anchor Braid Blanks about how she feels as she waits for news that will either give her hope or closure.

"I still have really bad days. It's been two years and it never gets easy. Some days it's easier to pretend it's not going on,” Billie Dunn said.

Dec. 27, 2010, was the last time she saw her then 13-year-old daughter.

She said she told Hailey “it was time to sit down and eat Christmas dinner. She likes to eat like any country girl does ... and then I saw her the next morning in her bed,” Billie Dunn said.

Fast forward to March 18, 2013, when the remains were found at Lake J.B. Thomas, and she is still waiting. The lake is roughly 20 miles from the last place her daughter was seen.

"I can't quit thinking about it and wondering, ‘What if it is her?’ It's been really tough. It's been a few days now. I don't know when it’s going to end and when I’m going to get some answers. I was kind of expecting an answer from dental records yesterday, but if they're not able to use the dental records because Hailey only had one picture, one view, we'll be waiting for two to three weeks,” Billie Dunn said.

She said it has been “utter chaos. It’s just been a mess knowing my daughter’s not here.”

“There's so much I’m missing out on. I see people in the stores all the time, moms and daughters… and the daughter’s throwing a fit because she's not getting what she wants. That should be me and my daughter arguing over what shoes she’s going to get or what car I’m going to buy her … I’m missing out on so much,” Dunn said.

Numerous questions surround the little girl’s disappearance. What happened to the vibrant cheerleader who would now be 15?

Shawn Adkins, Billie Dunn’s former live-in boyfriend, is the only “person of interest” named in Hailey Dunn’s disappearance.

When her daughter disappeared, Billie Dunn defended Adkins, but now she says their relationship ended a while ago and that she no longer talks to or trusts him.

"We have no contact whatsoever and haven't in a long time – and I don't want any contact with him. When I finally did get him to move out, he started harassing me badly. I saw another side of Shawn. He harassed me day-in and day-out, at work, at home….cussing me, threatening me,” Billie Dunn said.

She said Adkins’ sudden aggressive and angry behavior has made her rethink the possibility that he could be responsible for Hailey’s disappearance.

"I think it's a possibility, a good possibility, after seeing the way he reacted when we broke up – and I think back to what local law enforcement had told me and been trying to tell me. I just thought it wasn't true,” Billie Dunn said.

She said people who allege she is aware Adkins did something to her daughter and has been covering for him.

“As much as we say we hate each other – and I try not to say hate cause it's such a strong word – but I hate the guy, and people are still saying maybe he did something and I knew about it. I think it's ridiculous. I’ve got such bigger things going on with my daughter missing,” she said.

Others have wondered why she moved away from Colorado City and if it meant that she had given up hope of finding her daughter.

She said she has never stopped looking and still is in close contact with authorities and some search groups.

According to Billie Dunn, she went to Austin because she had to go back to work and that driving by her Colorado City home was too much to take at times.

But behind all the speculation and questions, a young girl remains missing.

Billie Dunn said she still hopes and dreams of finding her little girl so she could tell her: “How much I love her and want her home so bad… how beautiful she is and how happy I am to see her. I would never let her go."

For now, Billie Dunn said she and her 18-year-old son David will return to Austin until the body is identified.

If it's not her daughter, she said authorities will release an age-progressed photo to show what Hailey would look like today at 15 and then the search will continue.