You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Tennessee AMBER Alert: 5-year-old Summer Wells still missing after 8 days

WZTV - Nashville logo WZTV - Nashville 6/24/2021 Caitlyn Shelton, Kaylin Jorge, Jordan Whittington
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

UPDATE (Wednesday, 6-23-21) 

Eight days and 304 tips later, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says 5-year-old Summer Wells is still missing.

TBI agents say search teams are focusing on the area surrounding Ben Hill Road.

Detectives are continuing to follow up on any possible leads. So far, none of the more than 300 tips have resulted in any significant development in Summer's case, the TBI reports.

CLICK HERE FOR AN INTERACTIVE TIMELINE OF THE SEARCH FOR SUMMER

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Summer is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

___

UPDATE (Tuesday, 6-22-21) 

One week has gone by since family members reported 5-year-old Summer Wells missing in Hawkins County, Tennessee. The child is at the center of a statewide AMBER Alert.

72 agencies from Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina have covered 4.6 square miles in the search for Summer. Incident commander for ground search operations, Captain Tim Coup, shared that search efforts will continue with a focus on specific areas using specialized teams.

“Every day until we find Summer Wells, we will have specialized search teams, whether it be K9s, specialized man tracking, USR teams, we’ve already utilized, to go back into these areas,” Captain Coup said Tuesday. “Once we get a lot of these people out, it may make this area calm down a little bit. But, we will have people in the Beech Creek community from one end to the other working tirelessly day in and day out to be able to keep fresh crews coming in and still continue to search until we find Summer Wells.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has received 221 leads in the search for Summer. The agency says detectives continue to investigate each tip.

“Summer is still missing, and we are more concerned than ever and desperate to find her,” TBI spokesperson Leslie Earhart shared at a Monday news conference.

At this time, the TBI says they do not have evidence of an abduction but it isn’t being ruled out. Right now, crews are still focusing on search and rescue efforts.

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook

Investigators are urging property owners in the Beech Creek area to check their barns, crawl spaces and any other places a child could hide. Residents who are not able to physically search those spaces, may call the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office for help.

“We desperately need help from the community now searching their own property,” Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said.

Summer’s parents first reported her missing to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office one week ago, prompting an Endangered Child Alert that elevated into a statewide AMBER Alert.

The 5-year-old was last seen outside her home in the 100 block of Ben Hill Rd. in the Beech Creek area of Rogersville. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing gray pants, a pink shirt and is believed to have been barefoot. She stands at 3 feet tall, weighs 40 lbs and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Summer is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

___

UPDATE (Monday, 6-21-21 at 3:45 p.m.)

Nearly one week has passed since the family of 5-year-old Summer Wells, the child at the center of a Tennessee AMBER Alert, reported her missing.

“Summer is still missing, and we are more concerned than ever and desperate to find her,” TBI spokesperson Leslie Earhart shared at a Monday news conference.

72 agencies from Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina have searched 2,400 acres for Summer since Tuesday. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says they’re using all resources to find Summer including the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team.

At this time, the TBI says they do not have evidence of an abduction but it isn’t being ruled out. Right now, crews are still focusing on search and rescue efforts.

“It’s possible that she wandered off and is lost and afraid,” Earhart said.

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook

Agents and detectives have followed up on several leads, including residential surveillance video and photos from around the area of Summer’s home. According to the TBI, drivers seen in the Beech Creek area at the time of her disappearance have been identified and interviewed.

Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson is urging upper Beech Creek residents in Hawkins and Sullivan counties to thoroughly check their properties for Summer as soon as possible.

“Any outbuildings, any barns, any place a child could hide. We desperately need you to do that for us,” Sheriff Lawson said. “We have not stopped. We’ve been 24/7 for six days now. We desperately need help from the community now searching their own property.”

Captain Tim Coup with Church Hill Rescue says the rough terrain in Hawkins County has served as a challenge for search and rescue teams.

“The rugged mountainous terrain continues to cause problems and slow search operations at times,” Captain Coup said.

But even with the obstacles at hand, Captain Coup insists his teams will not stop looking for Summer.

“We will not quit until we find Summer Wells,” Coup said. “These guys have spent countless hours, day in, day out.”

Summer Wells is the subject of a Tennessee AMBER Alert after her parents reported her missing to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday night.

She was last seen outside her home in the 100 block of Ben Hill Rd. in the Beech Creek area of Rogersville.

At the time of her disappearance, Summer was wearing gray pants, a pink shirt and is believed to be barefoot. She stands at about 3 feet tall, weighs 40 lbs, and has blonde hair with blue eyes.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Summer is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

_____

UPDATE (Friday at 1:40 p.m.)

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says all avenues are being explored in the search for missing 5-year-old Summer Wells, the child at the center of a Tennessee AMBER Alert.

By the end of Friday, 41 law enforcement agencies are expected to have combed through 1,000 acres of steep and dangerous terrain for Summer. Dive crews have now been called to the search area that includes multiple ponds and streams. More than 100 trained professionals on the ground, K9s, helicopters and hazards teams all share the same ultimate goal of finding Summer Wells.

Caption: WZTV

“We are pursuing every avenue. We’re covering every ground area, every aspect,” a search captain said. “We want to flip every rock, check every crevice.”

Currently, the TBI has two main aspects of the investigation: the ongoing search itself for Summer and the investigation into how she disappeared.

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook

TBI Spokesperson Leslie Earhart says authorities are taking the investigation one day at a time, but that “the circumstances leading to Summer’s disappearance are very much under investigation.” Earhart says in the event the TBI finds information leading them to believe Summer has been abducted, they will let the public know as quickly as possible.

So far, the TBI has followed up on 85 leads in the search for Summer. The agency is welcoming credible tips and sightings, not speculation or rumors spotted on social media.

According to the TBI, Summer’s family is cooperating in the investigation. Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson says every search has been a consent search so far. No search warrants have been needed at this time. RELATED STORY: Father of missing 5-year-old Hawkins County girl speaks out, asks for prayers

“Everything’s on the table,” Sheriff Lawson said. “We’re trying to find exactly what happened to this young lady, and we’re not going to stop until we find her.”

Summer Wells is the subject of a Tennessee AMBER Alert after her parents reported her missing to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday night.

She was last seen outside her home in the 100 block of Ben Hill Rd. in the Beech Creek area of Rogersville.

At the time of her disappearance, Summer was wearing gray pants, a pink shirt and is believed to be barefoot. She stands at about 3 feet tall, weighs 40 lbs, and has blonde hair with blue eyes.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Summer is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

____

UPDATE (Thursday at 8 p.m.)

As of Thursday evening, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says teams have searched more than 680 acres for 5-year-old Summer Wells, who remains missing.

Agents are urging residents who live near Ben Hill Road to check their trail or surveillance cameras for video or photos of Summer.

Summer is the subject of a Tennessee AMBER Alert after her parents reported her missing to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday night.

She was last seen outside her home in the 100 block of Ben Hill Rd. in the Beech Creek area of Rogersville.

The dad of Summer Wells spoke with sister station WCYB and shared his appreciation for everyone searching for his daughter.

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook

____

UPDATE (Thursday at 12:30 p.m.)

The search for missing 5-year-old Summer Wells continues Thursday.

Summer is the subject of a Tennessee AMBER Alert after her parents reported her missing to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday night.

She was last seen outside her home in the 100 block of Ben Hill Rd. in the Beech Creek area of Rogersville.

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook

At the time of her disappearance, Summer was wearing gray pants, a pink shirt and is believed to be barefoot. She stands at about 3 feet tall, weighs 40 lbs, and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

The TBI has received approximately 50 leads in the search for Summer, but none of the tips have panned out so far.

“The circumstances surrounding Summer’s disappearance remain unclear,” TBI Spokesperson Leslie Earhart said at a Thursday news briefing. Adding, “The longer this goes, the more concerned we get.”

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook

Investigators from at least 19 other law enforcement agencies across Tennessee have been facing the extreme terrain in the area with hopes of finding Summer.

So far, search teams have covered a one-mile radius from the home by ground and four miles in aerial searches. Besides the boots on the ground scouring the area, helicopters, drones and four different K9 units are assisting in the search.

At this time, there are no official suspects or persons of interest in the disappearance.

“Everybody’s a person of interest until we find Summer,” Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said. “The most important thing is that we find Summer.”

Investigators elevated the Endangered Child Alert for Summer on Wednesday to an AMBER Alert. According to the TBI, an AMBER Alert is issued when a child is believed to be in imminent danger.

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Summer is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

_____

UPDATE (Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.)

The search for missing 5-year-old Summer Wells continues Wednesday afternoon.

Summer is the subject of a statewide AMBER Alert after her family reported her missing to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday night.

She was last seen outside her home in the 100 block of Ben Hill Rd. in the Beech Creek area of Rogersville. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is asking anyone in the immediate area to check their trail cameras, crawl spaces, outbuildings or sheds for the child.

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook

At the time of her disappearance, Summer was wearing gray pants, a pink shirt and is believed to be barefoot. She stands at about 3 feet tall, weighs 40 lbs, and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson described the search as an intense past 21 hours with authorities from 19 different agencies. Tuesday night, the sheriff says around 80 people flooded the woods to look for Summer. Wednesday, 100 searchers have continued scouring the woods for the missing child.

“Our main goal is to find Summer and to find her safe,” Sheriff Lawson says.

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook
"

The sheriff says their team has plenty of help, but noted that the terrain and spotty cell phone service have served as challenges.

“Terrain is tremendously hard,” Sheriff Lawson said. “Virtually no cell phone service.”

Even with the obstacles at hand, Sheriff Lawson thanked the community for the overwhelming support given to his department.

“It’s outstanding how the community’s coming to help us,” he commented.

A spokeswoman from the TBI explained why the Endangered Child Alert for Summer was elevated to an AMBER Alert. TBI’s Leslie Earhart says an Endangered Child Alert is a mid-level alert, while an AMBER Alert is issued when the TBI believes the child may be in imminent danger.

“Bottom line is we don’t know where she is at this time,” TBI’s Leslie Earheart said.

The TBI says agents are following up on all leads and holding out hope for the best possible outcome.

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Summer is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

_____

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued an AMBER Alert for a missing 5-year-old girl out of Hawkins County.

The alert was upgraded from an Endangered Child Alert in effect for Summer Moon-Utah Wells.

Wells was last seen outside her home in the Beech Creek community Tuesday night.

She was last seen wearing grey pants, a pink shirt and was possibly barefoot.

Summer Moon-Utah Wells is described as standing about 3 feet tall, weighing 40 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes.

If you see Summer call the Hawkins County Sherriff's Department at 423-272-7121 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Get reports like this and all the news of the day in Middle Tennessee delivered to your inbox each morning with the FOX 17 News Daily Newsletter.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From WZTV

WZTV - Nashville
WZTV - Nashville
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon