The mother and grandmother of a Tennessee girl who has been missing for more than a week issued public statements Friday, WJHL-TV reports.
Summer Wells, 5, vanished June 15 after she was last seen at her home in Hawkins County, Tennessee.
Authorities have been conducting large-scale searches throughout the rural Tennessee region for the girl since she disappeared.
On Friday, Wells’ mother, Candus Bly Wells, said she does not believe her daughter would have gone away voluntarily.
“I know she would never wander off this hill alone,” Bly Wells told WJHL-TV in a written statement.
Well’s grandmother, Candus Harer, said she has been devastated by the disappearance of her granddaughter.
“Bring my grandbaby home. She is a lovely baby, and we’re so thankful for everyone looking for her,” Harer told WJHL-TV in the written statement. “We yelled and looked for her as much as we could. She’s just gone. It’s devastating.”
More than 100 agencies across the state and country have been working to find Summer Wells, including the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team. Investigators say the circumstances of her disappearance are unclear and they have not ruled out foul play.
Authorities have asked local residents to look through their property, including barns, crawl spaces and any other places where a young child could be located, WTVF-TV reports.
A family friend has said that the Wells family is grateful for everyone looking for Summer.
“The Wells family . . . obviously, they’re just very distressed,” David Dotson told WJHL-TV. “They just want Summer home. We had a nice time of prayer, and they just want to really thank everyone for the diligent efforts and know the search and rescue is just a tremendous challenge, and they’re so thankful for everyone.
“They’re thankful for the media, the law enforcement; they’re thankful for everyone who was just working so hard to bring Summer home.”
Anyone with possible information is urged to call the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office at 423-272-7121 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 800-TBI-FIND.
Read all of CrimeOnline’s covering of the search for Summer Wells here.
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