HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — More resources have been brought in to assist in the search for missing Hawkins County 5-year-old Summer Wells.
Officials said Friday that crews continue to search for Wells in the area around her home in the Beech Creek community. She was reported missing Tuesday evening by her parents, which led to an AMBER Alert being issued Wednesday morning.
Among the new resources deployed: dive teams, hazardous and extreme terrain search teams, subject matter experts, state tactical radio system, and urban search and rescue teams. The search effort also includes more than 100 personnel, helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and K9s.
“We want to get in there, check every – flip every rock, check every crevice, check every spot just to make sure we don’t miss a spot,” said Capt. Tim Coup, ground search incident commander.
Coup said search crews had covered 688 acres of ground so far and expect to have 1,000 acres covered by Friday night. The search effort now involves 41 agencies.
“We are still experiencing steep and dangerous terrain which causes our teams to become exhausted very quick,” Coup said. “We are and will continue to work with and alongside local, state, and federal search and law enforcement agencies to locate Summer Wells, which is our ultimate mission to complete.”
Investigators had received 85 tips as of Friday afternoon and said the investigation into Wells’ disappearance remained ongoing.
“Everything is on the table,” Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said. “We’re trying to find exactly what happened to this young lady and we’re not going to stop until we find her.”
Wells’ parents are cooperating with law enforcement, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Leslie Earhart. Her father told News Channel 11 that he believes his daughter was taken.
“We’re exploring all avenues, so at this time we can’t confirm that, however, in the event that we do develop that information and confirm it was an abduction and have information to share, you will be the first to know,” Earhardt said during Friday’s press conference. “We want to reassure the community that we will let them know immediately.”
Earhart also encouraged people to avoid sharing “speculation and rumors” on social media.
The AMBER Alert lists the following details for Summer.
- Age: 5
- Sex: Female
- Race: White
- Hair: Blonde Eyes: Blue
- Height: 3′
- Weight: 40 lbs.
- Missing From: Rogersville, Tennessee
- Missing Since: June 15, 2021
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office at 423-272-7121 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
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