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Young Tennessee girl has been missing for a year from her Hawkins County home

Updated: Aug 16

Thursday of this week marked the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of a five-year-old Tennessee girl who vanished from right under the noses of several members of her family in her result Hawkins County home.

Investigators said they have not given up on finding Summer Moon Utah Wells. whose case now has amassed almost $60,000 in announced rewards leading to evidence as to her whereabouts.

Summer went missing 6:30 p.m. on June 15, 2021, at her family home located along Ben Hill Road in the Beech Creek community of Hawkins County. She was in the front yard with her mother and grandmother planting flowers in the Tennessee heat when she asked to go inside and play with her toys in the basement.

Summer and Candus Wells

Her mother, Candus Bly Wells, walked her half-way to the door of the house and noted her brothers sitting at the kitchen table on electronics devices. She yelled for them to "keep an eye" on their sister and went back to adjust the knee brace of the grandmother, who lived in a camper in the yard..

Summer Wells hasn't been seen since and investigators have released very little information on the case in the ensuing year.

Candus wells claims she had a feeling that something had happened from the outset, despite going to neighbors and organizing a neighborhood search after calling 911.

She and Don Well, believe she was taken by someone and that she would have never wandered off on her own.

Don Wells

Summer's father has been convicted of multiple violent felonies and served prison time for convictions involving drugs and burglaries in Arkansas, Utah and Texas. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he was cited for numerous parole violations.

Summer’s mother also has a criminal record in the state of Wisconsin, most recently a guilty plea on misdemeanor domestic abuse charges in 2003

Both parents have taken--and reportedly passed--polygraph exams.

The three sons of the family were re moved from th custody of their parents within a few months of Summer's disappearance and remain in the Tennessee Department of Human Service system to date. DHS officials can't comment on that aspect of the story,

Sources say the pressure of the case has taken a toll on Don Wells and he recently started drinking heavily again. He was recently arrested on DUI charges n Hawkins County.

During a press conference last week , Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Leslie Earhart gave an update on the case after a year.

Earhart said the day after Summer disappeared, the TBI issued an Amber Alert. She said investigators had hoped to have good news within 24 hours of that alert. She said this case has been well outside the norm with limited clues and all possibilities still being explored.

Thousands of man-hours have gone into the case so far. More than 100 TBI agents, analysts, and experts have combed over digital evidence, physical evidence obtained through search warrants, and social media accounts.

They also have conducted three major large-scale ground searches and numerous targeted ground searches.

More than 170 formal interviews have been conducted with countless follow-up calls and emails.

Authorities have sifted through thousands of tips, but said investigators have been bogged down with false leads generated by online speculation and people profiting on Summer disappearance.

The sheriff said they have not ruled out a walk off, abduction, or other foul means in connection to her disappearance.

Summer is described by investigators as being 3-feet tall, weighing about 40 pounds, with blonde hair, and blue eyes.

She was last seen wearing gray pants and a pink shirt and was possibly barefooted.

Anyone with any information about her whereabouts is asked to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND or the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office at 423-272-7121.

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