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Summer Wells: Infrared cameras deployed in search for missing 5-year-old Tennessee girl

The search for a missing Tennessee child continued into Sunday morning, with crews using a helicopter with special equipment to aid in the efforts, WJHL-TV reports.

Authorities are searching for 5-year-old Summer Wells, who went missing around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Rogersville, Tennessee. Her disappearance prompted the state Bureau of Investigation to issue an AMBER Alert on Wednesday morning.

Since then, crews have been deploying various resources to help find the girl. From Saturday night into early Sunday morning, searchers were on the ground combing through fields with flashlights. A helicopter was also being used overnight.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has been involved with the search, in part by flying one of its helicopters equipped with an infrared camera that can detect body heat, according to WHNT-TV. Divers have also been checking area ponds and waterways.

Saturday night’s search was prompted by a tip and was still active as of 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

The girl’s father, Don Wells, said Friday that investigators searched his home, which he said he understands because police have to rule out potential suspects.

“Well, I think they have to do that,” Don Wells told WVLT-TV. “They can’t rule out anybody. It’s their job to rule out everybody. They’re just doing their job, what they’ve got to do, and we welcome them to do their job for sure.”

As CrimeOnline reported previously, investigators have received more than 100 tips about the girl. Don Wells has said he believes someone abducted his daughter.

“Me personally, I’m pretty certain someone grabbed her, threw her in a car and left the area,” Don Wells told WVLT-TV. “Summer, if you can hear me, we all love you so much.”

Community members on Saturday held a prayer vigil for the little girl. Summer Wells is described as a white female with blonde hair and blue eyes. She is approximately 3 feet tall and weighs about 40 pounds.

To report information about Wells’ whereabouts, call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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[Feature Photo: Summer Wells/TBI]