Person of interest in high-profile Texas case has ties to New Mexico

USA

LOVINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – Texas law enforcement has named him a person of interest in the disappearance and murder of a 13-year-old girl, yet he’s never been charged. That man has ties to New Mexico, and there are now efforts to speak with people here who may have known him.

The story starts in Colorado City, Texas in December 2010. Thirteen-year-old Hailey Dunn went missing from her mother’s home, never to be seen alive again. Her mom’s boyfriend, Shawn Adkins, told investigators she went to a friend’s house for a sleepover.

Adkins was then identified by Texas authorities as a person of interest in Hailey’s disappearance. Her body was found near a lake not far from her home more than two years later.

Hailey’s father has since been working with Erica Morse, a private investigator, to help look into Adkins. “He’s been classified as both a person of interest and a suspect,” said Erica Morse.

Morse said she learned Adkins moved around after Hailey went missing. She said on one of his stops was in Lovington, New Mexico, between 2012 and 2013.

“A tip that I received over the holidays was that he was working at the now-closed ALCO discount store, and that he was known for hitting on and or harassing underage girls,” said Morse.

On Sunday, Morse put out paid ads on Facebook asking people in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma to reach out if they have any info about the man they say killed Hailey.

“I’m looking to talk with people in Lovington to see if any of these girls may inadvertently know anything about Hailey’s case that they don’t even realize is significant,” she said.

Tips are already coming in. The private investigator said on Wednesday, she heard from a woman in Lovington who saw the post on Facebook and claims to have messages from Adkins that contain sexual content.

“If we find evidence of other crimes along the way, and other victims, we have a responsibility to report that. We have a legal obligation to report that, and we will report that,” said Morse.

Both Lovington Police and the Lea County Sheriff’s Office say they can’t find any trace of investigations into Adkins while he lived there.

Morse said she and Hailey’s father plan to provide all the information they collect to local law enforcement.

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