Summer Wells Search: What You Need To Know WJHL

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(WJHL) – If you are coming across this story because you are looking to learn more about Summer Wells after her parents appeared in Dr. Phil, please take an interest in the search for the missing Hawkins County man. old man who has lasted since his disappearance on June 15th.

News Channel 11 is located in the three cities of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, headquartered in Johnson City. Since Summer was reported missing from her home in the community of Beech Creek in Hawkins Co., our teams have been in the field to provide extensive coverage.

My name is Anslee Daniel and I am a WJHL weekend anchor and reporter. While Summer Wells made an impact and captured the hearts of everyone at our station, I spent a lot of time in Beech Creek reporting on her demise.

For this reason, I have compiled a list of the most important stories and why I think you should start there if you have just learned about this case.

June 15 and the AMBER Alert

Summer was first reported missing from her home on Ben Hill Road in the Beech Creek community of Hawkins Co. on June 15. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued an alert on children at risk. She was first reported as four years old before authorities clarified that she was actually five. Hawkins Co. Sheriff Ronnie Lawson told News Channel 11 she was seen walking away from her home on Ben Hill Road around 7 p.m. The next day, an AMBER alert was issued and the first press briefing took place.

Summer’s first interview with dad

Don Wells would have been at work when Summer went missing, but he was the one who called 911. He spoke to the media before that day, but it was the first time he had been on camera where he told us that he believed his daughter had been abducted.

The breadth of research

The press briefings continued for 10 days. A common theme was the amount and types of resources deployed from everywhere. The search operations incident commander highlighted the rugged and deep terrain of the area and its impact on the hundreds of searchers.

Photos of the house of the wells

Ben Hill Road, where Summer’s family lives, was blocked at the height of the search. A few days after his disappearance, our cameras were first authorized on the Wells homestead.

Don Wells arrested for domestic violence in 2020

Court documents and police reports obtained by News Channel 11 revealed that Wells was arrested on October 14, 2020 and charged with assault, possession of a handgun under the influence and illegal possession of a weapon under the influence. regarding an incident with Summer’s mother, Candus Bly. These charges were then dropped.

The red truck

On June 26, the TBI requested assistance in locating the driver of a truck who was seen nearby when she went missing. They said it was a red or brown Toyota model from the years 1998-2000 with a last rack and white buckets on the back. They pointed out that this person was not a suspect and could have seen something. Months later, authorities are still looking for the driver of this truck.

Ground research “regresses”

In late June, after hundreds of rescuers from several state and nationwide agencies scoured the grounds of Beech Creek, the law enforcement and search operations command center was demobilized. The TBI stressed that Summer’s search was not over. Hundreds of tips and leads had been called, but none of them came to fruition and no one was named anyone of interest.

Summer’s mom speaks on camera for the first time

Almost two weeks after Summer’s disappearance, her mother, Candus Bly, spoke for the first time on camera in an exclusive interview with News Channel 11. She told us about the night her daughter went missing.

Summer is not the first to go away

Five years before Summer was born, her aunt, Rose Marie Bly, was reported missing in Polk County, Wisconsin. Authorities have made it clear that the two cases are unrelated.

The reward fund

A Summer Wells Information Reward Fund was established in June by the Church Hill Rescue Squad. At that time, the team planned to donate the funds to the Child Advocacy Center if there was no counseling for his return or recovery after six months. In early October, Don Wells told News Channel 11 that he believed the fund’s expiration marked a conflict of interest. The agency extended the date until June 2022. At the end of October, the fund exceeded $ 58,000.

Child protection services get involved

In late July, Donald Wells and Candus Bly told News Channel 11 that their three oldest sons were in the care of the Department of Child Protective Services. Bly didn’t want to say why. In October, a gag order was issued on the case even though most minors involving minors are kept confidential anyway.

Eqqusearch returns to Beech Creek

Almost a month after the search operations ended, the nonprofit Equusearch Midwest was back in the region in search of Summer. The group did not report any new leads. The following week, the Church Hill Rescue Squad said it would no longer be the lead agency to orchestrate further research and that tasks would be transferred to the sheriff’s office.

Community impact

Throughout the search and in the months after Summer’s disappearance, the community of Beech Creek and beyond joined the search teams through donations and the opening of churches. Vigils and prayer services were held as well as a prayer garden. Some even held weekly prayer circles for his safe return.

Website and YouTube channel

Don Wells and Candus Bly launched an official YouTube channel nearly four months after their daughter went missing in hopes of helping with the search. The couple have been outspoken about the social media reaction, including their own relationships and appearances with content creators on the platform. The channel is part of the family’s website, FindSummerWells.com. It’s a central place where people can find information like Summer’s description, recent news, a blog, and contact information to send the private investigator advice.

Dr Phil

Summer’s parents flew to Los Angeles in mid-October to film with Dr. Phil McGraw. These episodes will air on November 11 and 12. This is not the first time that the disappearance of the missing five-year-old has been in the national spotlight; his information was featured on ‘In Pursuit with John Walsh’ in September. I also participated in discussions and appearances on the case with Vinnie Politan Court TV in June and July, as well as with NewsNation in November.

Problem after Hollywood

Weeks after returning from filming with Dr Phil, Summer’s father Don Wells was arrested on suspicion of impaired driving. He was also charged with having an open container, violation of financial responsibility among other things. The following Monday, he was arrested again on arraignment for breach of probation. He has bonded both times on his own engagement.

These stories are what I see as key points leading up to our in-depth research coverage of the summer in conjunction with his parents’ appearance on Dr. Phil Thursday and Friday. These stories will be posted online as they are released. We have an entire section of our website – Search for Summer Wells – dedicated to the matter.

In closing, I want to remind you again that at the heart of this blanket is a five-year-old girl who hasn’t been seen for months. I assure you, more than anything, that we want Summer to be found and safe. Thank you for trusting me and the entire News Channel 11 team as a source of information. We are determined to find answers to what happened to him.



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