Takeaways from Dr. Phil’s episodes on the disappearance of Summer Wells

Search for Summer Wells

Candus Bly and Donald Wells (Photo: WJHL)

(WJHL) – Don Wells and Candus Bly appeared on the Dr. Phil show for part two of the segment on their missing 5-year-old daughter Summer Wells on Friday.

Dr. Phil was joined in part one and part two of the segment by a pair of deception, detection and body language experts, Greg Hartley and Scott Rouse, who largely agreed with Dr. Phil’s observations and conclusions.

One of the most notable parts of the show was when Dr. Phil publicly stated that “given the timeline,” he does not believe that Don or Candus hurt or killed their daughter, adding that he did not think that they did anything such as killing her and then hiding her body. At this moment we see a slight smile appear on Don’s face.

This was a thought that was echoed by Hartley and Rouse when they joined Dr. Phil on both episodes of the Summer Wells segment.

While Dr. Phil did state he doesn’t believe that the parents hurt or killed Summer, he does believe that the parents, especially Candus, may not be revealing everything that she knows about the case.

At one point, Dr. Phil asked the parents if they have any information or speculations about what happened that they would like to share. To that, the pair said that they do not.

When Dr. Phil then asked Candus what she thinks may have happened, she said, “I don’t know.” Dr. Phil tries to press her to provide some speculation to no avail.

In addition, on Thursday’s episode, the experts ask Candus what she thinks should be done to the person or people that took Summer. To that Candus said they “should be put away for the rest of their lives.” To that, the experts note a pause before Candus said that and also say that anyone else reaction would probably be more descriptive and graphic.

To that Dr. Phil said he would say something like, “give me ten seconds in a room alone with them and we’d be done with it.”

Cornbread Mafia

In Thursday’s episode, the two body language experts asked Candus about what they called the “Cornbread Mafia,” which they say is an organized crime syndicate in the southern United States.

Upon mentioning the Cornbread Mafia, Candus appears to have an emotional breakdown, removes her microphones and leaves the set in obvious emotional distress.

After such a scene, Dr. Phil circled back to the Cornbread Mafia Friday to ask Candus why she had such a strong reaction to the mentioning of the crime syndicate.

Candus responded to Dr. Phil’s question about the Cornbread Mafia saying that she had no clue who the organization is and that her reaction could be attributed to the fact that they just sound “horrible.”

“We don’t know what the triggering effect is. It could have just triggered her for something else and not necessarily their involvement with, or possible involvement with, her abduction or disappearance,” said Criminology Expert from Northeast State Community College Eric Stanton.

Dr. Phil also adds that the emotional response from Candus could be from fear, guilt or a mix of the two.

When Don and Candus are asked about the Cornbread Mafia, Don mentions that he thinks they are targets of criminals in the area and cites a time that he had all of his “mechanic tools” stolen.

The Disappearance of Summer Wells

Earlier in the episode, Dr. Phil asks Candus what Summer was like and what sorts of things that she likes to do. To that Candus responded that she likes to play with her toys and that she tended to stick close to the house.

Dr. Phil then pulls up some photos of the residence of Don and Candus, including a picture of the room where Summer stayed, which has a door attached to it. An aerial photo of the house shows the driveway, which wraps around the house.

Dr. Phil asked the couple if it was possible that Summer was taken when she stepped outside her room or if someone could have gained access to the house using the door connected to Summer’s room and taken her from there.

To that, Don said yes, it was a possibility.

Don then added that the police dogs tracked a scent from outside of Summer’s room that led into the woods all the way down to the nearby Ben Hill Road where it disappeared.

Don speculates that he believes the person that could have taken Summer did not drive their vehicle into the driveway but instead parked on a nearby road.

Dr. Phil also asked Candus about the day that Summer went missing. Candus states that she brought Summer inside the house and asked the sons to keep an eye on Summer while she went to fix her mother’s knee brace.

When Candus came back and did not see Summer, she said she asked the boys where she went and they told her that she went downstairs to play with her toys.

When Candus could not find Summer, she said she hollered for her and started looking everywhere that she could.

A neighbor that lives near the residence of Don and Candus said in an interview with News Channel 11 that she heard a scream shortly before Summer went missing.

Not a stranger

Several times during the show, Dr. Phil stated that in many cases similar to this one, the person who takes the missing person is usually not a complete stranger but rather a family friend or someone’s that is otherwise known by the victim or their family.

Dr. Phil states that he believes when this case is solved – and he says that it will be solved – the person that took Summer will likely not be a stranger.

Dr. Phil adds that in many similar cases, someone who is coming around the house for various reasons can see someone, like Summer, become obsessed with them, and then return on a later date of their own accord and take the person.

Thoughts from Experts

Toward the end of the show, the experts weighed in one last time, reiterating that while they don’t believe that Don or Candus did anything to harm Summer, they do believe that there is something that the parents, Candus in particular, is not saying.

Hartley and Rouse came to this conclusion, saying that they see red flags such as heavy respiration, especially when she is asked about the Cornbread Mafia.

Stanton from NESCC also noted that Dr. Phil used specific terms when making the statement that he did not believe that Don or Candus hurt or killed Summer. Stanton noted that Dr. Phil did not mention that he did not think that Don or Candus had any involvement in introducing Summer into trafficking, “or anything of that nature.”

“So I found it kind of unique that he worded it that way,” said Stanton.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss