HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A friend of the family of missing Rogersville 5-year-old Summer Wells says they are doing their best to keep their spirits up.

David Dotson, a family friend of the Wells, told News Channel 11 that Summer’s three older brothers have had a difficult time coping with the negativity from other people online and in-person.

“Yesterday, I took them to the putt-putt golf course here in Kingsport, just to try to let them have a peaceful day away from the search and rescue teams going on their property and the agents coming up,” Dotson said. “There was someone that made a comment that wasn’t very polite.”

Dotson attends church with the family and says he was called to the Wells’ property on the night Summer went missing.

“We definitely wanted to have some church family with them,” Dotson said.

Dotson said the Wells are having a tough time coping since Summer’s disappearance.

“Mom is devastated,” Dotson said. “Mom does not want to leave the house. She’s like ‘if Summer comes back, if she happens to wander back up, I want to be here.”

He says the family is desperate for Summer to be back home.

“I can’t imagine what they’re going through,” Dotson said. “They’re just parents that want their daughter back, and you have these three young boys that, they want their younger sister back.”

Dotson himself said he has a nightly ritual as he prays for Summer’s safe return.

“I sit out at night as the sun sets and I play a song for Summer,” Dotson said.

Family friends ask the community to continue to pray for Summer’s return and keep the family in their thoughts during these difficult times.

Summer’s father, Donald Wells, has spoken with News Channel 11 about his previous criminal history.

“It’s in the past, and we’ll leave it there,” Donald Wells said

Summer was first reported missing on June 15. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide AMBER Alert the following day, and crews have been searching the surrounding area in Hawkins County since.

The TBI AMBER Alert reports Summer’s appearance as follows:

  • Age: 5
  • Sex: Female
  • Race: White
  • Hair: Blonde Eyes: Blue
  • Height: 3′
  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • NCIC: M476287498
  • Missing From: Rogersville, Tennessee
  • Missing Since: June 15, 2021

Anyone with information regarding Wells’ whereabouts is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

For complete coverage of the Search for Summer Wells, click here.

For the latest news, weather, and sports alerts right at your fingertips, download the free WJHL News app! Available from Google Play and the App Store.