Wednesday marked one year since 5-year-old Summer Wells vanished from her home in Hawkins County, Tennessee. Despite thousands of hours spent investigating and searching, the case remains unsolved.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the family called 911 around 6:30 p.m. on June 15, 2021, when they were unable to locate the young girl. They said she was last seen entering the home after helping her grandmother plant flowers. Her brothers claim she went down to the basement to play with toys.
Don Wells, Summer’s father, believes his daughter was abducted and left through the basement door.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office held a joint news conference Wednesday morning. The event was brief, with few details about the ongoing investigation shared.
TBI Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart acknowledged, “This investigation weighs heavily on us all, and I can promise you that no one wants answers more than we do, and we’re not going to stop until we find her.”
Earhart announced that thousands of hours have been spent working the case. The investigation has included executing search warrants, analyzing phone data, and collecting social media evidence from anyone associated with Summer.
Earheart also addressed ongoing concerns related to the case and expressed her frustration with people reportedly spreading false information about the case.
“We know that this case has attracted the attention of individuals across the country who genuinely care about Summer and want nothing more but to help us find answers, and we appreciate those people,” Earhart stated.
“However, we are also aware that there are some people using this case for their own personal gain by spreading false information on social media posts as facts; some go as far as to solicit donations. This has had a major impact on the investigation and not in a good way.”
Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson noted, “There has never been a case in the history of the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office where officers worked 365 days and had so many hours spent.”
Don Wells issued a statement on the family’s YouTube channel to mark the one-year anniversary.
Earhart stressed that “the investigation into the disappearance of Summer Wells is very much active and ongoing,” according to Times-News.
The AMBER Alert for Summer remains in place. Earhart encouraged people to call the TBI tip line at 1-800-TBI-FIND only if they have direct information. Police ask that tipsters not share the tips on YouTube or Facebook.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Harmony Montgomery/Handout]