The search continues for missing 13-year-old Hailey Dunn from Colorado City.
However, the efforts have expanded with the involvement of over 20 officers from various agencies, including the 32nd District Attorney's office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers and even the FBI.
Even the national media has brought attention to the case, as CNN/Headline News reporter Nancy Grace discussed the disappearance on Jan. 4, 2011. However, Pete Kampfer, city manager and spokesman for the Colorado City Police Department, called Grace's report "sensational and inaccurate,” citing a false report that bloodhounds had been used to track Hailey at a motel that was nearby. Kampfer feels that the program may have become a hindrance to the investigation.
Hailey has been missing since Dec. 27, 2010, as she was on her way to spend the night at a friend's house, now identified as Mary Beth Garcia. Hailey's mother, Billie Jean Dunn, reported her missing the next morning when she discovered her daughter never made it to Garcia's house.
The family's house has also been searched as a part of the investigation. Scrutiny has also been raised over Shawn Adkins, the live-in boyfriend of mother Billie Jean Dunn. Reports claim that Adkins was the last person to see Hailey before she disappeared, and Hailey had asked him to tell her mother of her plans to spend the night at Garcia's house. According to the Colorado City police, Adkins was brought in for a polygraph test. As of Wednesday evening, results from both the search and test had not been released.
Hailey's father, Clint Dunn, has commented that he does not believe that family members are involved, yet feels that the person responsible is not from the area. Both parents also believe that Hailey did not run away.
However, Hailey's disappearance is still being considered a runaway investigation, with no Amber Alert being issued. According to its website, the guidelines for issuing an Amber Alert are:
* There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred.
* The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
* There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
* The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger.
* The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
The reward for any information leading to the whereabouts and safe return of Hailey has now been raised to $25,000, up from the $10,000 that was previously offered. The reward was initially set at $1,000 and raised to $4,500 last Friday afternoon.
Hailey, a Colorado City middle schools student, was last seen at 1804 Chestnut Street in Colorado City between 1 and 3 p.m, wearing navy blue sweatpants, a short sleeved light colored T-shirt and pink and white tennis shoes. She has hazel eyes, pierced ears and brown hair with blondish streaks. Hailey stands at 5'1" and weighs 120 pounds.
Please call 325-728-5294 or 325-728-3161 with any information on Hailey's disappearance.
A prayer vigil for Hailey will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 9, at the First United Methodist Church parking lot in Sweetwater.