Image Credit: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
A Hawkins County girl remains missing a year after her disappearance.
Six-year-old Summer Moon-Utah Wells was last seen on June 5, 2021, at her home on Ben Hill Road in Rogersville. According to her parents Don Wells and Candus Bly, she came back inside the house around 6:30 p.m. after working outside in the garden with her grandmother.
Leslie Earhart, spokesperson for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, says the department has spent thousands of hours on the case and has executed a number of search warrants.
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“The investigation into the disappearance of Summer Wells is very much active and ongoing,” Earhart stated in a Wednesday press conference.
She noted that, while authorities have not released a lot of information and it appears that not much progress is being made, much of what they do know is not being reported to help protect the case.
“When we held the first media briefing on June 16 (2021), honestly, we expected to have good news to report by the time the next media briefing came around,” Earhart said. “Unfortunately, instead, day after day ended in frustration and disappointment.”
She said that, despite that frustration, investigators did not anticipate that they would still be searching for Summer a year later.
That investigation has included interviews with more than 170 witnesses, including Summer’s three brothers and other people who visited the house before she vanished. Since that time, the boys have been placed into the custody of Child Protective Services.
Digital evidence has been examined, and searches have been conducted of the home and surrounding areas, both on land and by air.
At one point early in the investigation, authorities were searching for the driver of a red Toyota Tacoma that was reported to have been seen in the area shortly before Summer’s disappearance. According to the TBI, this person of interest has not been located at this time. Witnesses stated that the truck had white buckets in the bed and a ladder rack. There has been no video footage found of the vehicle, but the area is rural, so cameras are sparse.
At the time of her disappearance, Summer was about three feet tall, weighing in at around 40 pounds. She was wearing gray pants and a pink shirt and may have been barefoot. Authorities say her blonde hair was shorter than what is in most of the publicized photos of her, however, her appearance may have been changed in the past year.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com