The Disappearance of Summer Wells

Summer Moon-Utah Wells, 5, went missing on June 15, 2021, from her home in Rogersville, Tennessee. Despite the best efforts from her family, the community, and law enforcement, no additional evidence has been discovered. This remains an active and open investigation.

Summer Wells

At the time of her disappearance, Summer Wells, 5, was described as a 3-feet tall female who weighed 40 pounds. She had blonde hair and blue eyes. Summer was wearing a pink t-shirt with gray shorts and was barefoot. It was reported that she disappeared from her home on Ben Hill Road within the Beech Creek area, just southwest of Kingsport, in Hawkins County, Tennessee.

The Investigation into Summer Wells’ Disappearance

On June 15, 2021, Summer had been outside planting flowers with her mother, Candus Bly, and her maternal grandmother, Candus Harer. At some point, Summer went inside of the house to play with her older brothers. When Bly came inside to check on the children, she asked the boys where Summer was. They stated that Summer had gone downstairs to play with her toys in the playroom, which was in the home’s daylight walkout basement. When Bly went downstairs, she found the basement’s walkout door was open and Summer was gone. Bly, the unnamed grandmother, and Summer’s brothers began searching for Summer and Bly called her husband, Don Wells, who was at work. He rushed home to aid in the search.

After a few brief minutes of trying to locate Summer, the family contacted authorities at approximately 6:30 p.m. to report Summer missing. Initially, between 60-80 emergency and law enforcement personnel began search efforts. Personnel from Church Hill Rescue Squad, Goshen Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Hawkins County Rescue, Hawkins County Emergency Management, Hawkins County EMS, and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department blanketed the area. The Tennessee Highway Patrol Aviation Unit and provided air support the Ballad Health’s Heart Air Service.

The following day, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a missing child flyer and an Amber Alert was issued for the state of Tennessee. During a first press conference that afternoon, the number of people searching for Summer was reported as over 100 from 19 different local, county, and state agencies, in addition to community volunteers from this extremely rural area of Hawkins County.

Search for Summer Wells Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Authorities held a second press conference to further spread the word and ask for the public’s 22 in searching their own properties for any sign of Summer. On June 18, 2021, a third press conference was held in which authorities announced that the number of search personnel swelled to include 41 agencies, including a dive team, an urban search and rescue, and a search team that specialized in hazardous terrain. By the end of the first week after her disappearance, personnel had covered over 2,400 acres of physically grueling, mountainless, rural terrain and comprised personnel and volunteers from the states of Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. 72 different agencies offered aid in the search.

Tips regarding Summer’s disappearance poured in. Investigators followed every lead. Police lead search dog teams, which indicated that Summer’s scent traveled from the walkout basement door and along a wooded trail behind the home. An unfamiliar vehicle was reported to be seen in the area. It was described as a 1998-2000, red or maroon colored Toyota pickup with a full-bed ladder rack with white buckets in the bed. Further evidence regarding the vehicle was never discovered and investigators have stated that they think the driver might be a potential witness to events regarding Summer’s disappearance.

Suspects Are Ruled Out

Investigators have followed the necessary protocols by ruling out family members and neighbors of the family as possible suspects. Candus Bly passed a polygraph test and members of the family have fully cooperated with investigators. Family members and investigators have given several media interviews, hoping to gain further knowledge or clues into Summer’s disappearance.

On the one-year anniversary of Summer’s disappearance, the Hawkins County Sherriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation held a joint press conference.

Community Involvement

An overwhelming amount of assistance and support has happened concerning Summer’s disappearance, including private donations towards a reward for information in the discovery of Summer Wells. Equally, a lot of rumors, speculation, and a slew of theories have emerged by many people regarding possible events of that day. Members of the Wells family have given media interviews in the hopes of bring forth new leads. No new solid evidence has been discovered.

Ultimately, investigators have remained dedicated to receiving further tips or leads that they can follow, hoping to gain further information or evidence regarding what happened to Summer. Investigators ask that if you have further information regarding the disappearance of Summer Well’s, please contact 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463).

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a press release stating facts regarding Summer Wells. It can be found below

Summer Wells turned 7-years-old on February 4, 2023 and remains missing. Her case remains an open and active investigation. The family of Summer Wells started a public blog regarding information in this case. It can be found below.

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