HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The mother and grandmother of missing 6-year-old Summer Wells addressed comments by the Hawkins County sheriff about the family not cooperating with investigators.
Sheriff Ronnie Lawson told News Channel 11 on Tuesday that the family was “not cooperating right now” and added that the family “has attorneys.”
Lawson’s comments came as investigators continued a small-scale search that began Monday.
Summer’s mother, Candus Bly, did not want to go on camera but did tell News Channel 11 that she has never stopped talking to law enforcement and has not lawyered up. However, she said she could not speak for her husband and Summer’s father, Don Wells, and also thanked those who have searched for Summer.
Summer’s grandmother, Candus Harer, did speak on camera for the first time since Summer was reported missing.
“It’s heartbreaking and to have to go through it again with my granddaughter Summer, said Harer. “That’s what a lot of people don’t understand is what a parent goes through, what a grandmother goes through. I know it’s hard for them if they pass away from COVID or some other tragedy…it’s the not knowing…it’s what tears us up.”
Harer said didn’t want to go on camera before now because she says she’s reliving the same nightmare she has had for the past 12 years since her daughter Rose Marie Bly went missing from Wisconsin.
“Mr. Lawson stated that Candus and the whole family lawyered up. I can’t speak for Donnie and I know Candus hasn’t because she told me she hasn’t…and I have not,” Harer said. “If law enforcement wants to talk to me, TBI wants to talk to me, they have my phone number. They know when I leave the state they know when I’m here.”
Harer said she has not spoken with law enforcement since Dec. 13.
“They have not contacted me since the YouTubers were down here in the driveway, and we asked them about trespassing,” Harer said.
She also spoke of her relationship with her son-in-law, Summer’s father, Don Wells.
“Don and I don’t always see eye to eye but what son-in-law does see eye to eye with his mother-in-law? But we get along, we’re not down each other’s throats or anything but we get along,” she said. “And I’ve always given him and the kids and Candus…always their space. When he comes home, I go to my camper but now that he’s in jail, I’m back and forth.”
Wells has been in the Hawkins Co. Jail since Feb. 7 serving time for a DUI and violation of probation charge.
Harer was with her granddaughter on June 15, the day she went missing. She said they were repotting cactus plants outside of her camper.
“Summer come in and had a piece of peppermint, which is her favorite. Then she went in…she said, ‘Mama I want to go play with the boys.’ Candy walked her back into the house, and she asked the boys to keep an eye on her and that’s the last time I saw her.”
With it being nearly nine months since Summer was reported missing, Harer said she is tired of the social media and online rumors regarding the child’s disappearance.
“I hope and I pray to God everyday that she’s found… and she’s found alive.”– Candus Harer, Summer Wells’ grandmother
“If they want to help that’s great but if they want to spread lies that’s a different story because that’s all they’re doing is spreading lies,” Harer said. “They’re reaching and trying to figure out what lie can they spread now…and I’m tired of it.”
The ongoing AMBER Alert for Summer lists the following details:
- Age: 6
- 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 should contact the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office at 423-272-7121 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.