The mystery of what happened to missing Texas teenager Hailey Dunn continues.
Big Spring police announced Friday that remains found near a small airport on Tuesday are not those of the 13-year-old who was last seen two days after Christmas in 2010. The location was about 40 miles from the girl's Colorado City home.
An autopsy began on Friday morning but police said they have already determined that the remains are from a male. They did not expect to release any additional information about the investigation until a preliminary report from the medical examiner is complete.
According to KCBD, the news that the body is not Hailey’s has renewed hope in Colorado City that the teen may be alive somewhere. Volunteers told the station they were planning new searches and repainting signs that sit outside her former home.
An attorney for Shawn Adkins, the person of interest in Hailey’s disappearance, issued a statement Friday calling the announcement “bittersweet.”
“Shawn wishes to extend prayers for this yet-identified individual and hopes that some family will find closure and peace…Today's news, though saddening, should be a vivid reminder that trials should occur in the courtroom and that our laws and system of justice require an awareness and respect for the presumption of innocence,” the statement said.
So if the remains aren’t Hailey’s, whose are they? The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Missing Persons Clearinghouse website shows four males who have vanished in the Big Spring area since 1979, most recently in 2003, but it is still unclear how old the remains found last week are.
The Abilene Reporter-News reported that experts say it could take up to a month to identify the remains.