Three Weeks Later, Still No Sign of Joshua Davis

Joshua Davis, 18 Months Old — Disappeared, New Braunsfel, TX — 2/4/11

There’s still no sign of the toddler who vanished from a home full of people earlier this month.

Police say everyone who was inside the home that night has been cooperating with authorities. They have also conducted extensive searches of the 2 mile area around Joshua’s home as well as other areas, plus run down dozens of leads.

However, there were two interesting back-to-back comments about the investigation in a news article this week:

“Police initially believed the child might have slipped out while left unattended and wandered into the 20-degree night. But they have backed away from that theory and there has been no significant movement on the case.

“’We are not looking at this as an abduction case. We are confident this is not a kidnapping,’ Penshorn said.”

OK, let’s do the math. If it’s NOT a case of…

  • Wandering away from home OR
  • Kidnapping

Then that seems to leave…

  • Traded/sold OR
  • Hurt at the house by someone who knows him (intentionally or not)

Am I missing something? It’s also interesting that police say they’re no closer to finding him than they were when he went missing, yet they must know something to rule out two big theories.

Bittersweet News

In the meantime, Mom Sandra Benitez gave birth to Joshua’s little brother Jaden last week. Mom and baby are doing fine, so I expect we’ll see her insist on taking a polygraph soon.

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The Investigation into Phylicia Barnes’ Disappearance

Phylicia Simone Barnes — Abducted, Baltimore, MD — 12/28/10

There’s not much if any evidence to go on as to what happened to missing teen Phylicia Barnes, but there are…

Several Interesting Things We DO Know

1. The only “shoes” that are missing are Phylicia’s brand-new slipper boots…not exactly shoes you’d go walking to the store or anywhere else in

2. She did have her coat, phone, purse and debit card, but left her cash and emergency credit card behind

3. Phylicia told her older sister Shantel Shallis on Monday, December 27 she was uncomfortable because one of the men had made advances toward her but she rejected him. She also said she didn’t want to tell her half-sister for fear it would cause more tension between Deena, Johnson and herself.

Johnson posted on Facebook (but it was later removed) that he knew about it and it wasn’t any of his brothers. Was it himself? His younger brother/cousin? Someone else he’s connected to?

4. Police bloodhounds tracked her scent to the curb in front of the apartment, but no farther

5. The apartment is behind Reisterstown Shopping Plaza, in a neighborhood that is no stranger to crime. Deena’s apartment was a ground floor unit in the front.

6. Phylicia hasn’t used her cell phone, bank account or posted to Facebook since that day. At this point, her cell phone seems to be either permanently off or broken.

The Nap

Phylicia’s mother Janice Sallis has made a big deal out of the fact that Johnson says the girl laid down for a nap when she knew her sister was coming to get. But there are several plausible scenarios. She may have layed down if…

  • She’d had a couple of drinks the night before (which we don’t know) and was hung over.
  • Someone kept her up late–especially since her bed was the living room couch. Phylicia reportedly told Shantel that people were often coming and going til 4 AM in the apartment.
  • She was “playing possum.” Family members say Phylicia hated confrontation and she had to know Deena would contact Johnson about the Facebook picture. We also don’t know if he was the one who made advances toward her or not.

Since she didn’t have a room to retreat to, it’s very possible she pretended to take a nap to avoid dealing with him until her sister picked her up.

Still, pretending to be asleep on the living room couch would have put her in a vulnerable position if Johnson was angry.

All in the Family

Phylicia met Deena at a family reunion about 10 years ago. About two years ago, Janice encouraged her to get to know “that side of her DNA,” by contacting her half-sisters and possibly finding her father, whom Phylicia hadn’t heard from in eight years.

The teen reached out to Deena via Facebook and visited her Baltimore relatives during the Christmas holidays of 2009. The siblings all say they bonded with her immediately.

Janice has accused Deena of allowing the Phylicia to drink and do drugs and of having men coming and going from the apartment all the time. In fact, Deena gave her a list of 20 men Phylicia had been around in the days before his disappearance. (Police have narrowed the list to 12.)

Deena admits she was more permissive with the girl than Janice would have liked, and may have let her drink some vodka and take a “few puffs” of marijuana, but denies allowing her to do anything that “would have made her vulnerable.”

Major McLarney of Baltimore Police Department supports Deena’s account. “I think whatever was happening in there is not going to be that far off the map for people in their late teens,” he said. “There was nothing really bad in there.”

Deena’s Ex–Michael Johnson

Sgt. William Simmons of the Baltimore Police Department said in a recent interview he doesn’t consider either Deena or her ex a suspect in the case. “For the most part, [we believe them]. We have interviewed them both on multiple occasions.”

Michael Johnson also does not have a criminal record. Still, he was the last to see her and the one person we know was at the apartment when Phylicia stopped responding to her sisters’ texts and calls.

Of course, the last message Phylicia sent Deena was to say she had found a photo of Michael with his new girlfriend on Facebook…shortly after Johnson told Deena he wanted to get back with her.

He knew the teen was on Facebook that morning. So if Deena confronted him right away, it would have been a volatile situation for most adults–much less a 16 year-old girl.

Several extensive searches have been conducted around North Bend and Frederick Roads, near Johnson’s home. And Phylicia’s family spent the Saturday before last papering the neighborhood there with flyers as well.

Johnson has retained an attorney, although police said several of the people they’ve talked to have retained legal representation.

The Investigation

The police say they’ve run down every lead they’ve received,”no matter how ridiculous,” but have come up empty.

Phylicia has no history of family trouble, drugs, or emotional issues that would have motivated her to run away. Combined with the lack of activity on her phone, bank and online accounts, police officially classified her as an abduction a week after her disappearance.

They’ve repeatedly questioned a dozen people who had access to Deena’s apartment. Homes, cars, a stone well, a woodshed, and a park known as a body dump have been searched–on foot and with the assistance of FBI helicopters. Yet there’s still no sign of the teen.

While other missing teen cases seem to languish in law enforcement’s hands, the Baltimore Police Department has allocated extensive resources to the case–including half the city’s homicide 70-member squad and 50 police academy cadets at one point. A squad of six detectives–ones with the highest arrest and conviction rates–have been on the case full-time since January 3.  In a city like Baltimore, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Now they just need to catch a break.

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Honor Student Phylicia Barnes Goes Missing While Visiting Family

Phylicia Simone Barnes — Abducted, Baltimore, MD — 12/28/10

Phylicia Barnes, a 16-year-old teen from Monroe, NC with a huge smile and personality “that could light up a room” went missing while visiting family in Baltimore, MD, on December 28, 2010.

A track star and honors student, the teen went to Baltimore for the holidays to visit with her father and three half-siblings–Deena, Kelly and Brian Barnes–whom she had reconnected with about 2 years before. In fact, she’d been planning to graduate high school early and attend Towson University to be closer to her siblings.

Phylicia was staying with 27-year-old half-sister Deena, a pharmacy technician who’s studying to become a midwife, at her Eberle Road apartment behind Reisterstown Road Shopping Plaza in Northwest Baltimore.

At the time, Deena shared the apartment with Michael Johnson–a boyfriend of 10 years she was in the midst of splitting up with–and a teen who is alternately referred to by those involved as both a younger brother and cousin of Johnson.

No one has reportedly seen Phylicia since her Johnson saw her asleep on the couch about 1:30 PM that day.

Timeline for Tuesday, December 28*

  • Deena last saw her sister sleeping when she left for work around 8:45 AM
  • Johnson came to the apartment to pick up his little brother/cousin and take him to another relative’s home about 9 AM
  • Around 10 AM Johnson returned to the apartment to do laundry and start moving his stuff out, which Deena says she did not know he planned to do that day
  • Phylicia woke up and started texting both Deena and half-sister Kelly, the latter of whom was going to pick her up after work to go shopping and the like
  • Sometime between 10 AM and 11 AM Deena says Johnson texts her, asking to get back together.
  • Last text from Phylicia to Kelly at 11:08 AM, asking Kelly to come pick her up early (uncomfortable perhaps at being alone with Johnson?)
  • Deena and Phylicia speak by phone at 11:09, Phylicia mentions she is there alone with Johnson and Deena asks her to look for a photo of Johnson with his new girlfriend on Facebook
  • Phylicia makes two Facebook postings–one that she is at her sister’s apartment with her sister’s ex, and another that she was hungry–around 11:30 AM
  • Deena and Phylicia speak by phone about making a hair appointment 11:38 AM.
  • Last text from Phylicia to Deena was 12:23 PM, confirming that she found the photo of Johnson and the new girlfriend
  • Kelly repeatedly tried to contact Phylicia 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM and gets no answer, she was supposed to pick her up 1:30-1:45 but decided not to since she wasn’t getting an answer
  • Deena tried to reach Johnson at 1:04. He texted her and said his phone died and he was trying to find a charger for the phone. He also said Phylicia has fallen asleep on the couch and her phone’s been ringing.
  • Johnson reportedly left the apartment at 1:30 PM, and said Phylicia was still sleeping but muttered that she was going to get up and go get something to eat after her nap
  • Kelly contacted Deena at 3:08 PM because she still couldn’t reach Phylicia–Deena suggested maybe she’s still asleep
  • Michael Johnson returned to apartment to pick up his younger brother (we don’t know what time the brother returned) at either 4:50 or 5:10–says the front door was unlocked and music was turned up loud. One report says he texted Deena to say Phylicia was up and moving around at that time
  • Deena returned to the apartment about 6:00 PM and Phylicia wasn’t there. She then got worried and called a bunch of people, including Kelly, Brian, their father Russell, and Johnson. The call to Johnson was at 6:11 PM but he didn’t answer.
  • Johnson called her back around 7:00 PM and said the last he’d seen, she was sleeping when he left the apartment about 1:30 PM (so did he or did he not go by at around 5 PM?)
  • At 7:30 PM, Deena called police to report Phylicia missing

*The timeline is mostly sourced from the Websleuths’ thread about Phylicia Barnes, which lists their sources, except where noted.

What We Don’t Know Yet

  • Why didn’t Kelly stop by anyway to check on Phylicia after getting no answer?
  • Why wasn’t Deena concerned about not talking to Phylicia again after getting the Facebook confirmation? Was she just so wrapped up in fighting with Johnson?
  • When and how did the younger brother/cousin return to the apartment?
  • Did the friends actually enter the apartment in the 3PM time frame, or just knock?
  • Did Johnson actually send Deena a text around 5 PM saying Phylicia was up and moving around?
  • And, of course, was Phylicia really sleeping when he left?

Next up, the investigation into Phylicia Barnes’ disappearance…

Tipline: 1-855-223-0033
Reward: $36,000

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Hailey Dunn — Disappeared, TX — Updates

Teams of searchers from the Klaas Kids Foundation and Laura Recovery Center will be going to Colorado City this weekend February 18-20 to conduct a new large-scale search for missing teen Hailey Dunn.

Local volunteers who were trained by the two groups have been conducting searches every Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until dark.

Team Amber Rescue has also raised money to send a team for the search effort. This new group was created to honor 14-year-old Amber DuBois, who was abducted and killed by John Gardner, a registered sex offender, on February 13, 2009. Like many other missing teens, police deemed her a runaway, which limited the resources dedicated to finding her in those crucial first hours.

DuBois was found 13 months after she went missing after police arrested Gardner for kidnapping and murdering 17-year-old Chelsea King.

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Joshua Davis — Disappeared, TX — 02/04/11

Taken shortly before Joshua's disappearance

18-month-old Joshua Davis was last seen the evening of Friday, February 4 around 8PM in his family’s New Braunfels, Texas home. Joshua has asthma and needs his medication and nebulizer.

Mom Sabrina Benitez says she was not surprised when Joshua wandered out of the back bedroom where they’d been watching Toy Story because the house was full of visitors, including another baby he liked to go visit.

In all, she says there were 9 people in the double-wide mobile home at the time–mom, dad, Joshua’s older brother (by another mother), his godmother, his two grandparents, his fathers friend, and his grandpa’s girlfriend. (Wouldn’t another baby make 10? Maybe because it’s a baby, she’s not counting him.)

But after 10 minutes passed and he hadn’t come back, she jumped up and ran around the house looking for him. Dad Joshua  Davis, Sr.  says he had just seen the boy a few minutes before, when he’d come up behind him to pull on his beanie. Now, he was no where to be found.

The parents say the doors to their Savannah Hill Circle home were all closed and that Joshua couldn’t reach high enough to open the latch. Although they now seem set on the fact he was kidnapped, after somehow making his way outside.

Benitez said in a comment shown on Nancy Grace that initially she thought the father’s friend, who had come and gone, had possibly taken the boy. But the police said there was no evidence of that.

As for whether Joshua could have slipped out while the friend came in and out–she said he had used the back door, and the back porch was covered with ice. She didn’t see how Joshua could have made it across and down the stairs without falling.

Bloodhounds were initially brought in and did not find a trail for Joshua outside of the yard. However, searchers and cadaver dogs continue to comb the area near the home in case he did somehow wander off, as well as other locations called in on tips.

But would an 18-month-old wander off in the dark and cold without shoes?

Police have asked those who were at the home that night to submit to polygraphs. The father says he’s taken three. The mother can’t be given one due to her pregnancy although she says she’s willing to take one anyway. There are rumors some others in the house at the time have refused, but police won’t confirm whether that’s true.

The FBI and Texas Rangers has joined in both the recovery efforts and analyzing physical evidence, including a black tarp and bucket taken from the backyard of the home last week.

Police say they are getting a ton of calls, but it doesn’t appear they have much real evidence to go on.

Tips: New Braunfels Police 830-221-4100
Reward: $5,000

— Update 2/17/11 —

There really hasn’t been much news, although this Joshua Davis tidbit from a local news outlet is interesting:

Police say the boy, who vanished from a mobile home crowded with adults on Feb. 4, didn’t wander off. Tracking dogs haven’t been able to pick up his scent, and exhaustive searches of a two-mile area around the boy’s home have turned up no signs.

Police and abduction experts also have ruled out the possibility of a kidnapping.

So, apparently police know he didn’t wander off and he wasn’t kidnapped. (How you do totally rule out the latter possibility unless you have evidence or testimony of what did happen?) Seems to me the only option left is not alive–whether it was an accidental or pre-meditated murder.
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Hailey Dunn — Disappeared, TX — Clint Dunn

Since Hailey Dunn disappeared on December 27, 2010, her dad Clint Dunn has offered several times to take a polygraph, which by all reports police have declined.

Happier moments for Hailey Dunn

Why? We can only guess it’s because Clint has never even come close to being a suspect. He is over the moon for his “baby girl”–so proud of her intelligence and excited that she was on track to go to college and do well in life.

He is also the only one of the three (counting Billie and Adkins) who appears truly distraught and talks about Hailey in the present tense.

(Since the beginning, Billie has talked about Hailey in the past tense, which is highly unusual for the parent of a missing child–unless you’re Susan Smith or Casey Anthony anyway.)

Searching for Answers. Clint has also taken it upon himself to pack up his fiancee Naom,i and their three-month old daughter to check out possible spottings of Hailey in nearby towns, on top of pounding the pavement every day for her in Colorado City–passing out flyers, checking out abandoned buildings–anything and everything he can short of going out on the grid searches himself.

Yet, he is still making time for his other children–he reportedly took David to his first martial arts class recently.  Imagine how forgotten siblings must feel in the midst of an ordeal like this.  Good for him that he’s trying not to let that happen.

Meanwhile, Billie sits home watching TV, playing video games (when not doing press interviews), and having people over to eat, drink two cases of beers and watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve–three days after her daughter went missing. I’ll let you do the math whether that’s a party or not.

Billie says she doesn’t want to search because she’s afraid of what she might find.  No one’s expecting a parent to go out with the cadaver dogs. But there’s a whole lot that can be done outside of that. And none of it involves sitting on the couch watching TV…

Or continuing her relationship with Shawn Adkins, as she finally admitted in the one question she answered after giving her prepared statement to the press on January 31:

 JOURNALIST: What is your relationship like with Shawn Adkins?

BILLIE DUNN: We’re friendly. We talk on the phone.

Friendly with the police’s prime suspect in the disappearance of your daughter?! She has gone on to say in interviews since then that she and Adkins still love, miss each other and “answer questions for each other” and that he’ll be coming back to live with them as soon as this whole “mess” is over.

Sadly, her higher visibility (Clint said he froze in front of the cameras the first time he tried, so he let Billie do most of the talking until very recently) means Billie has been attracting a good amount of donations and financial assistance–including a van and a foundation “who awarded me a grant” to pay her bills. (emphasis added)

Assistance that should instead be going to the person who truly is out there looking for his daughter every day.

I’m not saying that Clint is Mr. Clean. As mentioned before, he does have a rap sheet, mostly for possession of a small amount of marijuana.

And, confounding the situation, Naomi’s mom reportedly was circulating a video of Clint smoking pot online. (He has been forthcoming about the fact he smokes pot for pain relief. But the visual certainly doesn’t do him any favors.)

Plus, there’s the question…

Was Hailey Afraid of Shawn? And Did Clint Know?

Clint’s mom Connie says Hailey told her she was afraid of Shawn Adkins…that he would pace the hall outside her room at night and peer in and watch her sleep. As far as she knew, he never touched her, but his mom is convinced now that Hailey’s gone because Adkins raped and murdered her.

When pressed, Connie says she did tell Clint. But when asked how he reacted to her revelation, she said she “didn’t remember” but he “was concerned.”

Was it that much of a non-memorable reaction? Did he explode and she suddenly realized sharing that might make her son look bad? Or did this not really happen?

Some think she’s making this up, or exaggerating something the girl said, because of her fear and anger about Hailey’s disappearance.

There was a report in OK! Magazine that seems to support her statements, which said Hailey made a call to her aunt Theresa Gaddis shortly before she went missing in tears because she was scared of him. But Theresa Gaddis (or someone speaking for her) seems to be denouncing that–saying she did talk to her missing niece but about other things. Although she did acknowledge that Hailey Dunn didn’t like Shawn Adkins.

So unless other reports surface, I’d say the jury is out on whether Hailey was truly scared of Adkins or just didn’t like him.

Of course, if it is true, and Clint knew, why did he do nothing? 

Clint says he believes his mom is telling the truth. When asked if he’s surprised Hailey didn’t tell him, he says no. She knew he would lose it and beat Adkins to a pulp and she didn’t want him going to jail over it. Given what’s been said about Hailey always looking out for her dad, this does seem plausible.

He hasn’t said (that I’ve seen) if his mom told him or not. And if so, what he did about it. It’s possible Hailey implored her grandmother not to tell and she’s feeling guilty about the decision not to now.

But regardless of what the real story is about Hailey and Adkins and what Clint knew, he does seem to be the only one acting like a parent who wants his child back.

If you’re interested, you can contribute to Clint Dunn’s efforts to search for Hailey (i.e. gas money, printing fliers, etc) at this donation website… .

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Hailey Dunn — Disappeared, TX — Shawn Adkins

One of Adkins' hobbies

Shawn Adkins is Billie Dunn’s 25-year-old  boyfriend. They reportedly met on MySpace and have been together 2 1/2 years, living together for at least the past year of that.

It’s well-reported that Hailey disliked Adkins and felt he was keeping her parents from getting back together. Billie says she got over that and ended up liking him just fine, although some around the family question that.

Adkins’ Whereabouts That Day

The Job. Shawn Adkins says he went to work WSI in Snyder, TX at 6AM on the day Hailey Dunn disappeared and left about 10 minutes later, after having a big blowout and getting fired. Billie says he told her he got in a fight and quit, although he didn’t admit to that until 2 days afterward.

But Adkins’ boss said he didn’t get fired or quit and that he was actually a good worker–although his behavior was odd that day.  Apparently, Adkins came in, dropped off his coveralls (both he and Billie make a strange point of saying this), drank a soda in the breakroom in front of his boss, and left again without saying a word.

At least one other employee corroborates that story and adds that Adkins had left the car running outside.

To Grandmother’s House We Go. Adkins said he went straight to his mother’s house in Big Spring…until cell phone records showed his phone pinged a tower in Colorado City at 6:35AM and 6:56AM.

Then he added that he went to his other grandmother’s house in Dunn, TX first. Since she wasn’t home, he then cut through Colorado City (without stopping at the house) to pick up the highway to his other grandmother’s.

Of course, there’s no way he could have been “just passing through” with the second call pinging off the same tower 20 minutes later.

Then there was a “break in usage” for 2 1/2 hours. Only the police know at this point whether this means the cell was off, out of battery or just didn’t send or receive any calls.

After that, he made 11 calls in Big Springs–the last one at 2:40 PM. Of course, that makes it difficult to be back in Colorado City (48 miles away) by 3PM as he claimed, and to see Hailey leave around 3:15.

Police asked to see Adkins cell phone during one of his initial interviews. He complied, but after giving statements that contradicted what officers had seen on his phone, they asked to look at it again. At that point, he deleted the exact info police wanted to see before handing it back over. (that doesn’t look suspicious, huh?)

Of course, police were still able to get the call logs, which were suspicious enough to get a warrant to search his vehicle.

That Night. Adkins picked Billie up from work shortly before they made two ATM withdrawals at 6:20PM. She told Nancy Grace they withdrew “all the money they had,” which was $140, to buy groceries and gas. But police affidavits say she told them the money was withdrawn to buy illegal narcotics for the duo.

After that, they arrive at Billie’s mom’s house between 6:30 and 6:40, and then subsequently arrive home at 7:30PM.

Adkins 411

Horrific Hobbies. Adkins has no criminal history, although he does apparently have some very macabre hobbies. He’s known to be a big fan of slasher/horror movies–including a member of websites devoted to the topic–and is an avid collector of memorabilia regarding the Mike Myers character from Halloween.

A search of the bedroom he shared with Billie revealed more than 250 pages of materials focused on mass murderers, serial killers, sexual sadism, family member murders, and the like. Billie told investigators she printed all of the material at work and it was a “hobby” for them to read them together.

The Videos. Two disturbing videos of Shawn Adkins have been found online–including one where he’s dressed in creepy mask and costume, posing with knives, and an animal heart. The words scrolling throughout include such heartwarming lines as “don’t f@#k with us or we’ll take out your heart.”

Billie says she’d never seen the videos before they were posted to support pages for Hailey and that they must have been from before they got together. But reportedly, the videos could be seen on Adkins’ MySpace page. And given that they met through MySpace…well, you have to wonder how she could have missed them.

Chainsaws & Deer. One affidavit also includes a statement from Billie’s brother, Roger Ostrander, about how Adkins frequently talked about how he killed deer and cut them up with a chainsaw.

After Hailey disappeared, Ostrander said he expressed his incredulity that anyone would hurt a 13-year old-girl. Adkins replied, “yah, it’s like killing a deer.”

The 911 Calls. And no, the violence wasn’t all just fantasy. Adkins apparently threatened someone earlier in the year after they briefly split up. Billie said he threatened to kill Clint.

Adkins was recorded in a police interview saying he threatened to kill Billie and Hailey (why would you even admit that to the police, given the circumstances?!), and to make it “memorable.”

However, he in a recent media interview he said it was just Billie. (As if that makes it much better.)

In fact, there was several 911 calls from earlier last year with Billie asking police to go to her house because Adkins is “MHMR” and was threatening to go in there since she usually left the doors unlocked.

(MHMR is the abbreviation for the State of Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation System)

Her FIRST concern was that he was trying to get in to steal a T-shirt, but added he might also take the Xbox. Then she said she’s worried he might confront her son, who was home at the time.

Adkins also placed a 911 call on Valentine’s Day saying Billie was threatening to kill herself over their breakup.

A lovely, stable couple, for two kids to be around, huh?

Finally, I’ll leave you with a quote from Adkins’ MySpace page–which comes from a Slipknot song…

Relax…it’s over,you belong to me,I fill your mouth with dirt Relax…it’s over,you can never leave I take your second digit with me… Love… You are…my first,I can breath I find you fascinating You are…my favorite,lay you down to sleep It’s all that I can do to stop…Love… So blue…so broken,paper doll decays I haven’t left you yet So cold…subversive,your eyes are full of bleach Tomorrow,I will go away again…Love… YOU ARE MINE,YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MINE,I CAN TEAR YOU APART I CAN RECOMBINE YOU ALL I WANT IS TO COVET YOU ALL YOU BELONG TO ME I WILL KILL YOU TO LOVE YOU.(LOVE)

I think that speaks for itself.

Next…Hailey’s dad Clint Dunn

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Hailey Dunn — Disappeared, TX — Two Key Questions


A not-so-happy looking family

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before police can solve the case of Hailey Dunn’s disappearance –first and foremost being…

When Was Hailey Actually Last Seen?

Billie says she looked in and saw Hailey asleep in her bed before she left for work that morning around 6:30AM, and that she had also seen her in her bed watching TV at 10:00PM the night before.

David says he last saw Hailey around 9:00PM the night before. He says at that time he went to a friend’s for the night and Hailey was still in his room playing video games when he left.

But several others claim to have seen her the day she went missing…

  • One neighbor Jean Burroughs who lives catty corner from Billie and knows Hailey says she saw her walking away from her house and back to her house with an unknown young boy about 6-7 years old between 10AM and 1PM.
    She says she’s certain it was that day because she had just finished with a customer, and she doesn’t cut hair on Sundays. But Naomi and Clint (the young boy was Naomi’s sun) said that was Sunday, not Monday. 
  • Billie says two neighbors–a man named Vernon and Dennis Pharris–say they saw Hailey on her mom’s cell phone in the backyard at noon.  (Guess she was able to be in two places at once?)News reports have only mentioned there being one witness at noon–allegedly Pharris, who was visiting Travis Walston, who lives two doors down from Haleigh. Walston says Pharris is not a reliable witness and he kicked him out several days later.
  • A woman named Celinda claims to have seen Hailey, Mary Beth and a strange boy at 8:30PM that night. Mary Beth and her mom both deny the girls were together and at this point.Billie says the woman is positive about this and even brought her a Redbox receipt to show the date and time. (Why bring her the receipt, and not law enforcement?) Upon further questioning, Billie admits Redbox doesn’t usually give receipts and says the woman says she got it “off of line.”

Overall, we don’t know much about some of these witnesses or how seriously the police may be taking their stories. And given how unreliable witnesses’ memories have proven to be in other cases (such as the woman being absolutely sure she saw Elizabeth Ennen at the Dollar Tree) , I’d say that without further info, David’s time of 9:00PM seems to be the most reliable.

Does Adkins’ Story of Hailey’s Departure Ring True?

It certainly sounds like Adkins was consistent about where she was headed, never varying that I’ve seen about where she was going, which can be a sign of truthfulness.

But why would Hailey head out to spend the night at the home of a friend who never responded to her alleged text message? (Alleged because we can’t be sure Hailey sent it. The big question is where did the phone ping at when it was sent, since Adkins would have still been in Big Spring at that time.)

Especially, the home of a friend she’d never spent the night with before?

(And on a lesser note–why didn’t the friend ever respond to the message? Did she not have her own cell phone? Did Hailey knew that?)

Initially, it seemed unlikely that Adkins would make up this story since it could so easily be proven that she didn’t make it to either place.

The Dad’s House. And even odder that he would include the visit to her father, since the closeness of the houses would greatly shorten the distance she could have disappeared from and make people question his truthfulness…

Unless the story was designed to throw suspicion on him.  After all, Clint himself admits to a previous physical altercation with Adkins, so there was definitely no love lost between the two of them.

Also, Clint, not Adkins, is the one with the rap sheet, with his first arrest in 1994 for burglary of a building. Four more arrests included one for driving with a suspended license in 1999, and three for possession of marijuana–in 1998, then on January 30 and December 29, 2010.

And if the story that there was a big blow-up around Christmas because Hailey wanted to go live with Clint is correct, Billie would have probably been ticked off at the possibility of having to pay him child support. Not to mention, mad about losing any state aid that might have been tied to the kids.

The Friend’s House. As for the friend, it again seems odd that he would say Hailey was going to Mary Beth’s–and not a friend she had spent the night with previously (although he may have been clueless on this point).

But it does make you wonder if Billie knew Mary Beth was no longer allowed to spend the night at her house.  Mary Beth’s mom Cecilia has said in news interviews that she put the kibosh on further sleepovers at the Dunns’ after hearing the girls were out walking the streets with other kids that night.

In recent statements Billie has made to the press, it’s clear she hates feeling “judged” for being anything less than “a wonderful mother.” Also, she told David to contact “that little friend” when she called that day instead of using the girl’s name, which again seems unusual since Hailey and Mary Beth were close friends.

Some language experts surmise she used this phrase to distance herself from the girl she was dragging into this. In my opinion, it seems more a sign of disdain. Think about how people refuse to refer to someone they dislike by their name and use a phrase starting with “that little…” instead.

And I’m just speculating her but IF you had to randomly choose a child and their family to drag into this, you probably wouldn’t choose one you liked, now would you?

Next up–All About Billie Dunn’s live-in boyfriend Shawn Adkins…

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Hailey Dunn — Disappeared, TX — 12/27/10

Colorado City teen Hailey Dunn was allegedly last seen on December 27 by her mom Billie’s live-in boyfriend, Shawn Adkins. Adkins said Hailey told him as she was heading out the door around 3:15 PM that she was headed to her dad’s house then a friend’s to spend the night.

She never made it to either.

Hailey’s brother David told dad Clint that he returned to the home around 4PM that day and was surprised to find it locked. (Billie said in a recorded 911 call earlier in the year that she usually leaves the doors unlocked. More on that call later.)

David said he banged on the door for 5 minutes, but when no one answered, he broke into the house through a window. Once inside, he saw Adkins in the hallway “looking like a deer caught in the headlights.”

He said Adkins told him the same story about where Hailey was.

Billie says Adkins also gave her  the same story about Hailey’s whereabouts when he picked her up at 6:15 that night and she didn’t think anything of it.

The next day, she called David at noon. When she heard Hailey wasn’t home yet, tells him to call her friend and tell her to come home.

David calls Billie back after finding out Hailey was never there. In fact, the friend, Mary Beth Garcia, said she did not have plans with Hailey to spend the night and that they didn’t even talk that day.

Records for Billie’s cell phone–which she says she usually left at home for the kids to use when she went to work–show a text message sent to Mary Beth on the 27th went unanswered.

Billie tells David to go check over at Clint’s, who lives across a small field, but close enough that he can see the door of Billie’s house from his back porch. His girlfriend Naomi said Hailey was there for a brief time the day before but didn’t stay. (She later retracted this and said she was confused–Hailey wasn’t there at all that day.)

Billie asked David to put Clint on the phone and kept insisting he use her cell phone (which David was on) to call the police and report Hailey missing, while she went to the station to file a missing person’s report after checking at home and several friends’ houses.

She goes by the precinct at 2PM and goes home to await a visit from a police officer at 3PM.

Billie says she did not talk to Adkins at all or tell him Hailey was missing until he came home that night.

Questions About a Mother’s Behavior

Normally, I hate to see people questioning the family’s actions right out of the gate because you really can’t know how you would react unless you’d been in that situation.  But there’s a whole lot that’s not adding up…

You find out your child is missing–wouldn’t the FIRST person you call be the person who had last seen your daughter?

After all, you’d want to go over exactly what she said told him in case there was some kind of misunderstanding. Plus you’d have a million other questions for him, like how she was acting and what she had with her when she left.

Yet she Billie never says she tried to reach Adkins, only that she didn’t talk t0 him until he came home that night.

And HOW do you file a missing persons report when you have no idea what she was wearing? That’s usually one of the first things the police ask so they can tell other officers what to look for.

Even if she didn’t think about needing that info when she went to the station, she’d have known she needed to find that out before they came by the house…and only one person had seen her when she left that day…

Finally, why not call police yourself? After all, Clint only knew what he had heard third-hand from Billie so he wasn’t going to be able to tell them much. In the time she spent pressing him to call she could have already done it.

As someone pointed out, this is eerily like Ron Cummings telling Misty to call 911 instead of calling himself when that Haleigh went missing…

No, Hailey did not take anything with her that day, but again, the police first classified the teen as a runaway in the initial days after her disappearance.

Next, two key questions still unanswered about Hailey Dunn’s disappearance…

Tipline: Colorado City Police Department at 325-728-5294 or Laura Recovery Center at  866-898-5723
Reward: $15,000

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Ali Lowitzer — Disappeared, TX — 4/26/10

Before getting on the school bus home on April 26, 2010, 16-year-old Alexandria Lowitzer (known to her friends as Ali) called her mom JoAnn to say she’d forgotten her key to their Spring, TX, home but was going to walk over to Burger Barn just a half mile away to pick up her paycheck anyway.

Video surveillance showed she got off the school bus just 3 houses down from her home. She then texted a friend–telling her the same things she told her mom and asking if she wanted to get together that afternoon.

But Burger Barn employees say she never made it there and she has never been seen again.

After trying to reach her by cell later that afternoon, Ali’s mom went to the home of the teen’s new boyfriend, who was also worried about being unable to reach her.

Although Ali has been missing for almost a year, police still have her classified as a runaway because there was “no sign of foul play.”

This despite the fact she …

  • Never picked up her paycheck from Burger Barn
  • Left her purse, $30 in cash and cell phone charger at home that day
  • Never showed up at friend’s 16th birthday party that she had helped organize
  • Never made it to an important tournament game for her softball team
  • Usually sent about 4,000 text messages a month but never used the cell phone again (nor has it pinged anywhere) after that message to her friend
  • Has not logged into her MySpace or Facebook accounts
  • Made plans with a friend for that afternoon

Also, several sites have mentioned an attempted abduction of another teenage girl shortly before Ali went missing.

Ali’s dad John says investigators decided she ran off because of entries in an old journal talking about wanting to run away. But that journal was up in her bedroom closet and the handwriting clearly shows these were not recent–and in fact may have been as three years before. (And please, what teenager hasn’t thought about running away at some point?!)

The search for Ali has been stymied by the runaway classification, which prevents access to Amber Alert, the Texas Rangers, FBI, search dogs, helicopter searches, Crime Stoppers and other potentially helpful resources. And of course, few local law enforcement resources have been allocated to the case.

So Ali’s parents have coordinated many of the search and spread-the-word efforts on their own–fliers, advertising in the local Val-Pak, etc. They also hired a PI shortly after she went missing and, fortunately, the Laura Recovery Center has also stepped in to help.

So What Happened to Ali?

Surprisingly, there’s been little attention given to this case by mainstream or online missing persons sites so I haven’t seen too many theories, only a few comments that some locals are suspicious of the Burger Barn, which closed a few months after her disappearance.

One local member of Websleuths said she had called police before Burger Barn closed about that street corner because it had turned into something of a red light district–with an adult video store opening next door, possible illegal gaming and other “shady” activities.

Also, a mother posted a comment to a local news website that one of the Burger Barn owners had assaulted her teenage daughter when she went to pick up her paycheck that January.  At the time of the May 2010 post, she said the case was still pending in Harris County court. (I have not been able to find more information about it, but given that it involves a minor, that’s not too surprising.)

Hopefully, the local police will finally get a clue and enable some additional resources to be dedicated to bringing Ali home.

Tipline: 866-898-5723
Reward: $10,000

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