‘Very real possibility that she wandered off…” | TBI continues to investigate disappearance of Summer Wells

Search for Summer Wells

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The investigation into what happened to missing Hawkins County 5-year-old Summer Wells remains active and ongoing, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday.

In a video on Twitter, TBI Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart said the unsolved case is weighing heavily on investigators.

On June 15, 2021, Summer Wells was reported missing from her home on Ben Hill Road. Since then, extensive search efforts have taken place to locate her and determine what transpired.

“Investigators have executed numerous search warrants, collecting all potential evidence,” Earhart said. “We’ve spoken with anyone and everyone associated with the Wells family, in some cases more than once.”

Earhart said people interviewed by the TBI include neighbors, family acquaintances and people who were working in the area of Ben Hill Road on June 15.

According to Earhart, the TBI is continuing to work alongside the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation as they utilize resources to keep searching.

“We’ve used a plane, helicopters, divers, canines and every resource available to us during search efforts,” Earhart said. “Despite the countless hours of tireless work, the circumstances surrounding her disappearance remain unclear.”

The TBI reported Wednesday that there is no evidence to suggest that Summer was abducted, but investigators continue to explore all possibilities.

“At this time, there is no evidence that she was abducted; however, all avenues continue to be explored including foul play and the very real possibility that she wandered off and became lost in the mountainous and rough terrain surrounding her home,” Earhart said.

The Wells family also marked the six months since Summer’s disappearance with a video on their YouTube channel. The video features TikTok videos of Summer on a swing and text on-screen saying they miss her.

On Nov. 30, a heavy law enforcement presence returned to the Beech Creek community with a mobile command center for what the TBI referred to as a “planned search.” The TBI reported that they hoped the change in seasons would improve search efforts.

However, after the two-day search, the TBI reported that efforts had resulted in “no significant developments.”

The TBI asks that anyone with credible information call investigators at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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