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Summer Wells, the 5-year-old Tennessee girl who disappeared from her family’s rural home, has now been missing for a month.
Investigators say they’ve received about 980 tips but made no progress in the search for the blonde, blue-eyed girl.
Summer’s mother, Candus Bly, told local media last month that she’d come inside from the garden with her daughter and left her with her brothers in their Rogersville home for about two minutes on June 15.
Summer Wells was last seen at her home in Rogersville, Tenn., on June 15.
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation )
When she returned, she said Summer was gone and that the boys told her their sister had gone down to the basement. But Bly said she couldn’t find her there – or anywhere else. A statewide Amber Alert was issued the next day.
“I’m just scared that somebody’s hurting her, and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Bly told the Johnson City-based WJHL-TV in her first televised interview two weeks after the disappearance. “It smothers me.”
Summer is about 3 feet tall and weighs around 40 pounds. At the time she went missing, she was wearing gray pants, a pink shirt and may have been barefoot. Her blonde hair is believed to be shorter than it appears in most of the pictures of her that authorities have circulated to help the search.
Investigators say the circumstances surrounding her disappearance have yet to be determined – but they said they were looking into “all possibilities.”
Summer’s parents both have criminal records in other states, and speculation and rumors have swirled on social media, especially in Facebook groups dedicated to discussing missing person cases.
Tennessee search and rescue teams aren’t giving up in the hunt for Summer Wells.
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
In a statement to local media, Summer’s father, Don Wells, addressed some of the rumors Thursday.
“The negativity on social media, the attacks on my family, and the misinformation being circulated is not helping to find Summer,” he said in a statement to WJHL. “People on social media are only adding to the pain the family is going through. It’s affecting my other children, who are already hurting.”
The parents have not responded to numerous Fox News requests for comment.
Despite an outpouring of support from the local community, investigators say they’ve received no credible tips. The case remains active and ongoing.
Summer has close-cropped, blonde hair and blue eyes. She’s about 3 feet tall and weighs roughly 40 pounds.
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
Investigators are still looking for a red pickup truck, possibly a late 1990s Toyota, which may have been in the area of Ben Hill Road on June 15 and 16. It had full-sized ladder racks and white buckets in the bed.
Neighbors and other area residents and businesses are being asked to check their home security and trail cameras for any evidence that may help locate Summer.
Authorities have not publicly announced any person of interest or suspect in the case, and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assistant special agent in charge Shelly Smitherman said that’s been “frustrating” for law enforcement in a video shared to Twitter Tuesday.
“Typically on an Amber Alert…within a couple of days we have a tip or lead or have an idea if they’ve been abducted, if they maybe left into the woods,” she said. “Somebody saw something that leads up hopefully to get an answer to where the child went or if they were taken. We’re going to have some tip or lead. And that is the frustrating part for law enforcement in this case and the public.”
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