HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The mother of missing 5-year-old Summer Wells responded to backlash she’s received on social media platforms since the disappearance of her daughter.

Candus Bly said she’s been receiving hateful messages and comments on her posts.

“I’m sorry that you guys feel that way, but that’s my baby, and nobody would ever treat her like that as long as I was around, ever,” Bly said.

This response came during an exclusive interview News Channel 11 got with Bly and Summer’s father, Don Wells. It marked the first time Bly spoke on camera since Summer went missing on June 15.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Tuesday afternoon it’s followed up on 650 tips since the day Summer was last seen.

The TBI reminds the public to avoid social media rumors, speculation and conspiracies, as these further complicate efforts in bringing Summer home.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart said dealing with rumors and speculation is “always a battle.”

“We find that we’re receiving a lot of tips that is a screenshot from Facebook; it’s an opinion or speculation — that’s not a credible tip, and it just bogs down the system,” Earhart said.

As investigators continue the search, Bly is left with fear and uncertainty.

“I’m just scared that somebody is hurting her and there’s nothing I can do about it and it smothers me,” she said.

For more on News Channel 11’s interview with Bly and Wells, click the link below.

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

TBI reached out to the public in search of a “potential witness” in the Ben Hill Road area around the time of Summer’s disappearance.

Anyone with information regarding Wells’ whereabouts is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.CONTINUING COVERAGE: The Search for Summer Wells 

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