Gruesome Clue in Missing Teen’s Case Makes Us Want to Hug Her Mom

Hailey DunnIs there really such a thing as a "good" discovery of human remains in a random pasture? I'm thinking no. But when you add the possibility that the body found in a field in Texas this week might be that of missing cheerleader Hailey Dunn, you go from horrible to ... what, unthinkable? Unspeakable?

Hailey was just 13 years old when she went missing a year and a half ago. Thirteen! Her age is what makes this whole story so hard to take.


According to police, Hailey's mom's boyfriend, Shawn Adkins, was the last one to see her before she went missing two days after Christmas in 2010. Although she broke up with the guy, and police have continued to say he was a "person of interest" in the girl's missing person's case, there was never any real movement. Until now.

The remains discovered have not been positively identified as Hailey yet, so I guess there's hope for her poor mom. But I don't know what I would rather hear if I were in her shoes. Is it better to get closure and know, OK, this is what happened to my daughter, and I don't have to keep wondering? Presence of a body could very well lead to an arrest and justice.

Closure can be a grieving parent's best friend. It doesn't fix the pain, but it can jump start the healing process.

Then again, if the body is Hailey, that's it. It's over. There is no hope that magically, miraculously, her teenage daughter will be found living on the beach somewhere selling surfboards or some other soap opera fantasy. And I can't help wondering, as a parent, if I'd prefer hope, prefer to cling to the belief that my child is really OK. But even that would put Hailey's mom back where she's been since December 2010, wondering, waiting, worrying about her daughter.

There is no perfect answer here, is there? I just hope something gives Hailey Dunn's mom peace.

What do you hope happens in this case?


Image via National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Read More >