HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Donald Wells, the father of missing Hawkins County 5-year-old Summer Wells, has told a podcast that his sons have been removed from the Wells family home.
Jennifer Youngblood, host of the podcast “Jay is 4 Justice,” told News Channel 11 on Monday that Don Wells joined her on the show over the weekend. While speaking with Wells, Youngblood said he confirmed that Child Services were involved in the case.
On Wednesday, July 21, a Department of Children’s Services spokesperson confirmed to News Channel 11 that the department was involved in the Summer Wells investigation. DCS did not confirm at the time if Summer’s brothers had been removed from the home.
While on Jay is 4 Justice, Donald Wells told Youngblood that his sons were taken from the home a few days prior.
“Right now, with everybody attacking us and all this stuff going on, it’s probably better for them,” Wells said on the show.
Youngblood asked Wells if the children were removed for their safety, but Wells said there was more to it than that. During the interview, Wells said the theories and speculation surrounding Summer’s disappearance were affecting him.
“They come at me and said – either posing – said they had the inside scoop with TBI and that they knew I sold my daughter for drugs, and I flipped out. I flipped out,” Wells said on the podcast. “I believed that stuff. Like an idiot, I believed it and I flipped out, started drinking and everything else. And that’s why they took our kids.”
“He did tell me regarding the boys being taken away that it was due to him having an episode of drinking and there’s other things swirling around the internet that it could be the home life or what’s going on right now in Summer’s case,” Youngblood said.
Youngblood said she thought Wells seemed to be in a worse state than he had on previous times they had spoken.
“I could tell when he answered the phone that he sounded broken to me,” Youngblood said. “He did not sound like the same Don Wells that I spoke to the week previous. He didn’t sound hopeful. He sounded very depressed and confirmed that the boys were in fact taken a couple of days prior.”
Youngblood said she does not have an interest in speaking to anyone else except for the parents on her show to avoid conflicting information from the public.
“Don hasn’t faltered from his original story,” Youngblood said. “The only thing that I’m confused about is the statement that was made that he took the boys to work that morning with him and dropped them back off when Candus said to her friend that they were at home cleaning. So, that was one thing I haven’t had a chance to ask Don.”
Youngblood told News Channel 11 that at this stage of the investigation, it is the time to focus on bringing Summer home safely.
“Not facts surrounding any gossip or drama that people have with Candus or with Don at this point,” Youngblood said. “I think that’s totally counterproductive. And I think we need to keep the focus on there’s a five-year-old little girl that is missing, and also there is three boys that are missing their sister.”
News Channel 11 has reached out to Candus Bly and Donald Wells regarding their other children. As of Monday, they have not responded.
Summer Wells was first reported missing on June 15, and a statewide AMBER Alert was issued the following day. Since then, investigators have been searching for Summer.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has received more than 1,000 tips in the search and is asking the public for help identifying the driver of a red or maroon Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with a full ladder rack that may have been in the area of the Wells home around the time Summer went missing. The TBI states the driver is not a suspect but could be a potential witness.