The mother of a Tennessee girl who vanished two weeks ago agreed to her first on-camera interview Monday, with Summer Wells’ father right at her side.
Summer, 5, had been missing since June 15. Candus Bly — who told WKRN that she uses her maiden name — spoke to a reporter from the news station at her home in Hawkins County, where Summer’s parents say they last saw her.
According to Bly’s account, Summer had been planting flowers with her mother and grandmother on June 15 when she asked to play inside with her brothers.
“Me and my mother and her were planting flowers, and we went in after we got done washing our hands, and she got a piece of candy from grandma,” Bly said.
“And Summer wanted to go back over and see her brothers, and I said, ‘OK,’ and I walked her all the way over to the porch, and I watched her walking into the kitchen where the boys were watching TV. I told the boys, I said, ‘Watch Summer; I’ll be back.’ And within two minutes, I came back, and I asked the boys where their sister was, and they said, ‘She went downstairs, Mom, to play with her toys in the playroom.’ I said, ‘OK.’ And I yelled downstairs for her a couple times, and I didn’t get no answer, which was unusual because usually she always answers me. And so, I went down there to check, and she was nowhere in sight.”
Bly said she believes someone came to the house and took her daughter, echoing what Summer’s father Don Wells has said.
Summer’s parents also addressed the 5-year-old girl’s very short haircut. In the WKRN interview, Bly said that Summer was a “tomboy” and wanted to shave her head. Wells interjected that Summer had attempted to shave her own head.
“[Summer] was a tomboy,” Bly said. “I shaved my head; she wanted to shave her head like me and the boys did.”
Wells offered a slightly different explanation.
“She tried to shave her head,” Wells said. “I think you can see it in some of the pictures, and it was getting out of control, and we decided to shave her head off and let it grow back long. And her mom shaved her head to — so [Summer] wouldn’t feel bad. And…but…it didn’t bother her.”
READ MORE: Summer Wells’ mom shared TikTok video of child, who appears to to be missing daughter, on day girl disappeared
According to WKRN, Summer’s parents said that a video of Summer playing in water that was uploaded to Bly’s TikTok account on June 15 had been recorded the same day. The report does not indicate whether Summer’s parents identified an unknown male seen in the video with her.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is seeking a potential witness in Summer’s disappearance. As WKRN reports, TBI issued a release over the weekend asking for information about a Toyota pickup truck was seen near Beech Creek Road and Ben Hill Road on June 14 and/or June 15. Investigators say the owner of the vehicle is a potential witness, not a suspect.
“The pickup is possibly a 1998-2000 maroon or red Toyota Tacoma, with a full bed ladder rack along with white buckets in the truck bed,” the release states.
Summer’s mother told WRKN she doesn’t know anything about the truck.
“It’s really strange that I’ve never seen this truck,” Bly said. “And I’ve never heard of it until just recently, but I wish they would come forward and explain themselves. If you’re not a suspect, at least come forward and say what you’ve seen.”
Anyone with possible information is urged to contact 1-800-TBI-FIND.
Read all of CrimeOnline’s covering of the search for Summer Wells here.
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