Answer: Wisely avoiding the spotlight.
If the remains in Scurry County belong to Hailey Dunn, we can expect two arrests to follow closely afterwards.
In a criminal situation where two or more suspects are involved, law enforcement often counts on one or more of the suspects testifying against the other. In the case of missing 13 year old Hailey Dunn, this has not happened to date, as Billie Dunn and Shawn Adkins have remained loyal to one another, not to date "throwing" one or the other "under the bus" to prosecutors.
I think this unity is about to come to an end.
During the ongoing saga of this case, language shifted from the "Hailey Dunn case" to the "Billie Dunn case" as the missing 13 year old's mother has gone "front and center" since it broke, most of the time going against her own lawyer's counsel. In taking the lead, the deception became easy to discern and she has made her own case, and that of Adkins, much worse.
When there are two or more suspects, it becomes likely that one will testify against the other. In this case, I believe that it will be the Adkins family who will convince their son, Shawn Adkins, to testify against Billie Dunn, in exchange for certain concessions from officials.
Here is why.
When there are two suspects linked together, one often testifies against the other for some form of favorable returns: reduced sentence, avoid death penalty, and so on. This is common.
I think that Shawn Adkins will testify against Billie Dunn in exchange for a reduced sentence in some form of protective custody. With the child pornography, his family must seek a guarantee of his safety.
Most families would.
I think he will make a deal and here is why.
His family will see some of the elements of the case and seek to persuade him to cooperate with prosecutors.
This is my guess:
If the remains are Hailey's, both Shawn Adkins and Billie Dunn will be arrested. Both have agreed to the conspiracy of silence from the beginning.
1. Billie Dunn gets a free attorney, while Shawn Adkins' family faces, literally, hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs. In practical terms, it means the possibility of losing their home, their retirement account, college savings, massive debt, and so on.
This, while they see that Billie Dunn, without a penny to her name, will get free attorneys; likely males.
This will not go over well with Adkins' family.
They likely have resented having to pay for an attorney while Billie Dunn went on television with a locally famous attorney, at no financial cost to herself.
This is another factor that will weigh heavily on the Adkins family. They did not get involved in the scheming of Billie Dunn, nor the constant appearances on television and radio. In fact, their attorney insisted that Shawn Adkins stay out of media. At one point, he went on radio even after being told not to by the attorney they paid for.
They did not show up for the phony "hope" for Hailey rallies.
The Adkins family did not start Face Book wars, nor seek out publicity through national television. They have stayed quietly away from the press, wisely so, as they have sought to ride out this nightmare.
The family of Shawn Adkins is not threatening people, using foul language, or attempting to manipulate anyone. They are wisely staying out of the public's eye, even as Billie Dunn continues to cause the public to fume against her, they have remained silent, as has their son.
3. Their background.
We haven not read about them being arrested for drugs, or generational imprisonment like Billie Dunn. With home ownership, holding jobs, having car payments, and so forth, we usually find more responsible living than we do with the culture that is found with drugs and irresponsible behavior.
People who do not "know the system" because they have not been in prison, fear the system, rather than stand stout against it. There is an inclination to trust and work with professionals, rather than against them.
4. Education level
These may be people of more education which lessens the likelihood of wanting to work against law enforcement. People of education and citizenship who avoid crime do not foolish claim that police, FBI and state law enforcement "conspire" against them for no cause. They are more likely to be responsible, and cooperate with police, than not. They were, in the least, intelligent enough to stay out of the spotlight where they watched Dunn do the very opposite.
5. Lack of association with the criminal world often gives people a strong sense of submitting to justice or "obeying the laws" and cooperating, at least to some degree. People who's brothers, sisters, mother, grandmother, and aunts and uncles who have all gone to jail, do not have the same sense of fear, or submission to the system than those who have never had a prison visit in life.
They likely already blame the older, sophisticated Billie Dunn for exploiting their limited son. He was in his early 20's when he met the much older and worldly Dunn, whom they likely disapproved of from the beginning, since their son was closer to the age of David Dunn than he was to the mother. Any family would likely want to put blame on the other, and in this case, they might be able to make good arguments about what Shawn was like before meeting up with Dunn, and what he was like afterwards.
7. Drug Culture
I have not read nor heard much about the Adkins family, in particular, I have not read nor heard anything about them being involved in drugs, or generational arrests, time in prison, domestic violence, and so forth. This is in stark contrast to the family of Billie Dunn, who, as dutiful daughter, went to her own mom's house to see if mom needed any drugs, in the manner that most daughters might stop by to see if their mom might need a cup of tea. At one point, it was difficult to keep track of how many Hailey relatives were in jail, or had been in jail. It was the norm for them. Is it for the Adkins family?
With the Adkins family, I haven't read of them being arrested for drugs, or drug related crimes which, if true, would increase their tension and blame of Dunn and her lifestyle. I have heard some rather favorable views of the Adkins family as working productive citizens. If true, it heightens the anger they will feel while seeing their lives' work be spent while Billie Dunn gets a free attorney.
They read FaceBook and see how Billie Dunn gets photos of herself out partying posted online, and how she says things like, "who hasn't received bestiality photos?" and likely cringe at the low brow foolishness and seek to keep their son out.
They heard how she got herself a private investigator and instead of helping him find Hailey, the Adkins family heard about the "list" of people Billie wanted smeared into silence. They have had to have felt severe humiliation with the police affidavit made public, knowing that their son was involved in the disappearance of a 13 year old girl. Conflicted with their love of him and their knowledge of the horrific things he got into, what could they do?
Recall that they separately took their son and paid for a polygraph, which confirmed the police results.
They may have let Billie Dunn attempt to convince them that the polygraph had been rigged by police and the affidavit all a lie, so they decided to find out for themselves and did the responsible thing:
They paid for Shawn to take a polygraph administered by their own attorney. Their own attorney would tell them the truth. They would not take Billie Dunn's word for it, especially since she tried to convince Shawn he could pass it if he used anxiety medications from her. That worked out miserably. No, this time they would have an attorney administer it, and put away all this nonsense about police conspiracies and rigged polygraphs.
They paid for their own attorney to have it administered to Shawn and their own attorney would tell them, truthfully, the results. In fact, they would learn not only the results, but the results to specific questions.
They knew the results and they knew, specifically, what questions Shawn failed.
They remained silent.
One may imagine that had Shawn passed, confirming that police had 'rigged' the previous polygraphs, that this family would have gone directly to the District Attorney's office and/or national television (like Nancy Grace) to promote from the rooftop, Shawn's polygraph results.
They had to embrace the silence of the pain of guilt and wonder, "Where did we go wrong?" and "what did they do to that little girl?"
It is a pain none of us wish upon any parent.
They knew that he had gotten involved in something bad, something very very bad, something only whispered in the darkness, and as families go, likely blamed Billie Dunn for leading their son down this path of perversity and darkness. It is natural for families to 'circle the wagons' (like the Peterson's) and seek to protect their own, but this would not be coupled with the vile details and the accompanying shame.
They saw how Dunn 'got him into this mess' and went on television and radio, even against her own attorney's advice and at least once persuaded their son into giving an interview when his attorney said not to. This will not sit well with them. They continue to see how she speaks out, even after her attorney publicly said she would not, and they can say, "See Shawn? See? She is not for your best interests, Shawn!"
The bills will be endless.
How much does it cost to defend him of murder charges?
They will not like to watch their account drain s their life savings are gone, while the co-conspirator continues to flash phony smiles for the cameras and get photographed in the arms of men wearing masks.
Prosecutors should recognize that in dealing with Adkins, whom Billie Dunn said was "mentally retarded" with "mental health" issues, that the family behind him are likely intelligent people who will seek the best possible outcome for their son and may be reasonable to deal with.
Let's Make a Deal
Prosecutors will insist that not only the remains be given up (if not found) but also that the cause of death be revealed.
Team Adkins will want him protected in prison and want him to receive mental health treatment, as they may not understand what sick, twisted world he got himself into. This would allow them to see that there is some justice for Hailey, even while they can comfort themselves with the knowledge that they have sought to help their own son.
What makes this scenario so dangerous is the deadly 'game of chicken.'
John Young is no dummy, but he also knows that his only payment will be publicity, and Billie Dunn is not an obedient client. He does not want a loss on his record and he does not want to be embarrassed by her outrageous statements and inadvertent admissions of guilt.
He may have already sought to convince her to cut a deal only to run into the same sociopathic-narcissistic like resistance of "I can beat a polygraph, I can be a jury" mentality a la Casey Anthony.
Casey Anthony's attorneys would have made a deal if not for her bravado, but as pointed out recently, it is likely that prosecutors have learned the lesson of Casey Anthony and will be well prepared for trial.
I would not be surprised to learn that the DA's office has already conducted mock trials of Billie Dunn and Shawn Adkins in preparation for the future case.
One of them will make a deal and it may be that whoever makes the first deal will come out on top, but as long as Billie Dunn stays the course of Casey Anthony, it allows for the Adkins' family to seek out the best possible outcome for their son. Certainly if Billie Dunn becomes aware of this, she will be urged by her attorney, whoever it is when the time comes, to reconsider her defiance.
As we have seen many times before, liars hold the world in contempt.
They think of everyone as beneath them; not smart enough to discern the deception. This pride is what betrays them most often.
The only one I can think of to date who got away with it has been Casey Anthony.
Let us hope that the lessons of the Casey Anthony trial, whatever they may be, have been well learned. If not, can we hope that the Casey Anthony jury was a unique, one-off monstrosity, not to be found again?
Adkins family has not gone on television and have not gotten into Facebook wars, nor have made spectacles of themselves in public. This suggests intelligence and it may be, that if these remains are Hailey's, that they will act wisely and seek both justice for Hailey, while attempting to protect their own.