AMBER Alert SUMMER WELLS: Missing from Rogersville, TN - 15 June 2021 - Age 5

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AMBER Alert issued for missing 5-year-old out of Hawkins Co.​

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide AMBER Alert for a missing 5-year-old girl from Rogersville in Hawkins County Wednesday morning.

Officials with the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to WVLT News that Summer Moon-Utah Wells went missing Tuesday night. Sheriff’s Office officials are asking for the public’s help locating the child.

Summer Wells has blonde hair and was last seen wearing grey shorts and a pink shirt on Ben Hill road, officials said. She has been missing since 7 p.m. Tuesday.

TBI officials said Summer Wells may now have shorter hair than that pictured in earlier alerts.


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Mel70

Special specialist
From the 2nd video I can see why DPS took the boys. The outside has alot of junk that could be dangerous and inside is like a hoarders house.
 

Mel70

Special specialist
I watched pt. 2. There are questionable things. Like Chris said he thinks there is more to the story. I agree. I have felt that way from the start. I didn't like the state of the property or living conditions. I didn't like him being denied looking in the shed either.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member


Here are both parts of the interview that Chris from The Interview Room did with Candus and after watching and listening to these I don't know what to think anymore. If you get time watch these interviews and see if your opinion of the situation changes or what you think about them.
Pretty interesting. I found his analysis at the end of part 2 especially interesting. I really wonder what was said during the conversation that was muted out. He seemed to indicate that it may have been a "red flag" that only the investigators need to know right now. I also wonder why he got the indication that Don may have been at home at the time, and not at work. I don't necessarily find the bit about her not wanting him to go into the shed concerning. It's not like there would be something incriminating laying there after LE has been all over that property.
I do believe with a high level of certainty that Summer made it home that day. And I do believe it's very possible the boys know what happened. (Maybe not exact details. But things that investigators could use to piece things together. "Yes, Summer went into the basement." or "Dad was home." or "They sent us into the woods to look and somebody was gone when we got back." or even "Summer wanted to play with us but I told her to get lost.")
I still don't think it's out of the question that she wandered away, either.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
1. I thought EquuSearch had to have LE permission to search in the first place?
2. Why would you be upset with a search group out looking for a missing child? (They probably should have confirmed their search locations though, yes.)


‘Kept All That To Themselves’: Police Captain Critical of Volunteer Search Effort for Summer Wells​

A leader of one of the law enforcement agencies involved in the search for Summer Wells expressed frustration with a nonprofit search agency that reportedly performed a volunteer search effort for missing Summer Wells this past weekend, the second time since the 5-year-old girl from east Tennessee disappeared in mid-June.

As the Kingsport Times-News reports, Equusearch Midwest returned to the rural search area over the weekend with trained volunteers. On Tuesday, Church Hill Rescue Squad Capt. Tim Coup indicated that Equusearch Midwest had not kept up its end of the agreement to communicate with police following the search.

“We didn’t have any issues with them the first time, and I can’t confirm that we had any issues with them the second time just because I’m not sure what they ended up doing,” Coup told the newspaper. while confirming that the organization had gotten permission from Coup and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a volunteer search.

“They said they were going to give me and the sheriff’s office all information about what places they searched, and as of Tuesday neither have received it,” Coup said.

"Whatever they’ve done this past weekend they’ve done and orchestrated and have kept all that to themselves."

According to the report, Coup announced at a news conference Tuesday that the Church Hill Rescue Squad was no longer the lead agency in the search, but it’s possible that could change if police request a new physical search. He also expressed concern about well-intentioned volunteers who may inadvertently compromise the investigation by trespassing on private property.

“[T]hese additional agencies wanting to come back in — with it still being an active investigation, with it all being private land over there — we felt as an agency that it would be better for any other searchers to go through the sheriff’s office,” Coup told the newspaper. “It’s private land and not knowing what they’ve went over or who they’ve talked to, it just opens up for too many more issues.”


EquuSearch comes up empty; Candus & Don lash out​


“I think one or two people know exactly what has happened to her and they need to come forward,” said Dave Rader of the missing Summer Wells.

Rader’s EquuSearch Midwest unit was in Tennessee this past weekend, contributing its expertise and resources to the search for the five-year-old girl reported missing from her Beech Creek home June 15.

“We got a lot accomplished (Saturday),” the EquuSearch Midwest Chapter Director said in an online interview Sunday.

“We didn’t find the objective that we were looking for, which was little Summer. But I’ll tell you what: we gave it everything we could possibly give and we’re still not done,” Rader said.

Speaking with retired New York Police Department Detectives Ron Duty and Bill Cannon on Duty’s Youtube channel, Rader said he will confer with Tim Miller, who founded EquuSearch in 2020 after his own 16-year-old daughter, Laura Miller, was abducted and murdered in Galveston County, Texas in 1984. Her body wasn’t located until 17 months later.

“There still may be some things that we, me and Tim, can put our heads together and figure something out. But this isn’t the last for me to come down to Tennessee to look for this little girl,” said Rader, who called Sunday a “get-away day,” a travel day for the volunteers to return to their respective homes for their respective work weeks.

“I stayed behind just to kind of think about some things and just kind of go over in my mind what could we possibly have missed and is there anything that we missed. There’s a lot of land down here. The real estate is just unbelievable as we’ve touched on before. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” he said.

“You’re trying to do the best that you can with the information that you have. And again, I think one or two people know exactly what has happened to her and they need to come forward,” Rader said.

“It’s a process of elimination. You take the information, you digest it, you think about it, then you execute. Then you execute the search. We didn’t find anything that was pertinent to Summer or else we would have turned it over to law enforcement. We know where she’s not. We’ll keep the bus rolling,” Rader said.

“It was a hard day (Saturday) for everybody. We were riding on such high hopes we were gonna bring this girl home and then when you don’t bring that individual home, it is such a Debbie Downer and tough for everybody. The morale, you can just see, it’s like a balloon letting the air out,” Rader said.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
From now on, any organization that wants to conduct a search for Summer Wells in the Beech Creek community that hasn’t been requested by law enforcement must get permission from the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office.

That places the authority for approving any future searches in the hands of the HCSO. Coup said the purpose of Tuesday’s action is to prevent any potential hindrance to or interference with the police investigation.


This past weekend the independent, volunteer Equusearch Midwest returned to Beech Creek to conduct an independent search for Summer. Equusearch had sent trained volunteers to assist in the search during the initial 13-day massive search of the area that followed Summer’s June 15 disappearance.

Equusearch requested permission to search from Coup, who in turn got that cleared by the HCSO.

Coup said the understanding was for Equusearch to conduct the search from their vehicles and stay off private property, as it did during the initial search.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

Parents of Summer Wells attend juvenile court, confirm other children are in custody of child services​

The parents of missing 5-year-old Summer Wells appeared in juvenile court in Hawkins County for a hearing on Tuesday afternoon.

News Channel 11 spoke with Donald Wells and Candus Bly outside the courthouse shortly after 1 p.m.

Bly said off-camera that her sons had been in the custody of the Department of Child Protective Services since late last week. Over the weekend, Wells had said the same while he was on a podcast.

Bly said she did not want to say why the other children had been removed from the home.

According to Bly, they have hired an attorney.

Wells said that his other children are safer now that they are in DCPS custody, but he did not elaborate or specify how.

Bly told News Channel 11 that the disappearance of her daughter Summer is a completely separate situation than what has led to the involvement of children’s services.

Court documents were unavailable due to the age of the juveniles involved. The Hawkins County Clerk said no new paperwork has been filed related to either Bly or Wells.
 
Pretty interesting. I found his analysis at the end of part 2 especially interesting. I really wonder what was said during the conversation that was muted out. He seemed to indicate that it may have been a "red flag" that only the investigators need to know right now. I also wonder why he got the indication that Don may have been at home at the time, and not at work. I don't necessarily find the bit about her not wanting him to go into the shed concerning. It's not like there would be something incriminating laying there after LE has been all over that property.
I do believe with a high level of certainty that Summer made it home that day. And I do believe it's very possible the boys know what happened. (Maybe not exact details. But things that investigators could use to piece things together. "Yes, Summer went into the basement." or "Dad was home." or "They sent us into the woods to look and somebody was gone when we got back." or even "Summer wanted to play with us but I told her to get lost.")
I still don't think it's out of the question that she wandered away, either.
If I heard correctly, I thought she initially told him that he could look in there if he wanted to.
 

FightingCrime247

Well-known member
Day 45 and we know nothing more now than we did at day one, this is a case that has touched the hearts of many people all around the world. I've tried to work out every possibility and no matter how hard I try I just cannot figure out how abduction would be possible in this situation too many way that things could go wrong and the person or persons would be caught in the act. If we take the abduction angle off the table then what does that leave us with? The possibilities are many and the facts are few sadly.
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
1. I thought EquuSearch had to have LE permission to search in the first place?
2. Why would you be upset with a search group out looking for a missing child? (They probably should have confirmed their search locations though, yes.)


‘Kept All That To Themselves’: Police Captain Critical of Volunteer Search Effort for Summer Wells​

A leader of one of the law enforcement agencies involved in the search for Summer Wells expressed frustration with a nonprofit search agency that reportedly performed a volunteer search effort for missing Summer Wells this past weekend, the second time since the 5-year-old girl from east Tennessee disappeared in mid-June.

As the Kingsport Times-News reports, Equusearch Midwest returned to the rural search area over the weekend with trained volunteers. On Tuesday, Church Hill Rescue Squad Capt. Tim Coup indicated that Equusearch Midwest had not kept up its end of the agreement to communicate with police following the search.

“We didn’t have any issues with them the first time, and I can’t confirm that we had any issues with them the second time just because I’m not sure what they ended up doing,” Coup told the newspaper. while confirming that the organization had gotten permission from Coup and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a volunteer search.

“They said they were going to give me and the sheriff’s office all information about what places they searched, and as of Tuesday neither have received it,” Coup said.

"Whatever they’ve done this past weekend they’ve done and orchestrated and have kept all that to themselves."

According to the report, Coup announced at a news conference Tuesday that the Church Hill Rescue Squad was no longer the lead agency in the search, but it’s possible that could change if police request a new physical search. He also expressed concern about well-intentioned volunteers who may inadvertently compromise the investigation by trespassing on private property.

“[T]hese additional agencies wanting to come back in — with it still being an active investigation, with it all being private land over there — we felt as an agency that it would be better for any other searchers to go through the sheriff’s office,” Coup told the newspaper. “It’s private land and not knowing what they’ve went over or who they’ve talked to, it just opens up for too many more issues.”


EquuSearch comes up empty; Candus & Don lash out​


“I think one or two people know exactly what has happened to her and they need to come forward,” said Dave Rader of the missing Summer Wells.

Rader’s EquuSearch Midwest unit was in Tennessee this past weekend, contributing its expertise and resources to the search for the five-year-old girl reported missing from her Beech Creek home June 15.

“We got a lot accomplished (Saturday),” the EquuSearch Midwest Chapter Director said in an online interview Sunday.

“We didn’t find the objective that we were looking for, which was little Summer. But I’ll tell you what: we gave it everything we could possibly give and we’re still not done,” Rader said.

Speaking with retired New York Police Department Detectives Ron Duty and Bill Cannon on Duty’s Youtube channel, Rader said he will confer with Tim Miller, who founded EquuSearch in 2020 after his own 16-year-old daughter, Laura Miller, was abducted and murdered in Galveston County, Texas in 1984. Her body wasn’t located until 17 months later.

“There still may be some things that we, me and Tim, can put our heads together and figure something out. But this isn’t the last for me to come down to Tennessee to look for this little girl,” said Rader, who called Sunday a “get-away day,” a travel day for the volunteers to return to their respective homes for their respective work weeks.

“I stayed behind just to kind of think about some things and just kind of go over in my mind what could we possibly have missed and is there anything that we missed. There’s a lot of land down here. The real estate is just unbelievable as we’ve touched on before. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” he said.

“You’re trying to do the best that you can with the information that you have. And again, I think one or two people know exactly what has happened to her and they need to come forward,” Rader said.

“It’s a process of elimination. You take the information, you digest it, you think about it, then you execute. Then you execute the search. We didn’t find anything that was pertinent to Summer or else we would have turned it over to law enforcement. We know where she’s not. We’ll keep the bus rolling,” Rader said.

“It was a hard day (Saturday) for everybody. We were riding on such high hopes we were gonna bring this girl home and then when you don’t bring that individual home, it is such a Debbie Downer and tough for everybody. The morale, you can just see, it’s like a balloon letting the air out,” Rader said.
Maybe they had permission the first time they came out and then took poetic license for the second?
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
Maybe they had permission the first time they came out and then took poetic license for the second?
After reading a bit more, it sounds like they DID have permission. But LE "assumed" they would stay in their cars (?) and not search private property. Sounds like they didn't do that, and Equusearch didn't tell them exactly what they did, so they got a bit salty.
 

Guess Who

Well-known member
After reading a bit more, it sounds like they DID have permission. But LE "assumed" they would stay in their cars (?) and not search private property. Sounds like they didn't do that, and Equusearch didn't tell them exactly what they did, so they got a bit salty.
stay in their cars??? What kind of search would that be? How would they even assume that?
 

Guess Who

Well-known member
I can see both sides of this issue though. Maybe EQS got some info they thought better not to share with the local LE? I can also see how local LE would be wanting to know where they went and where they searched. EQS easily could have talked to somebody that wasn't comfortable with talking to local LE for various reasons.

“[T]hese additional agencies wanting to come back in — with it still being an active investigation, with it all being private land over there — we felt as an agency that it would be better for any other searchers to go through the sheriff’s office,” Coup told the newspaper. “It’s private land and not knowing what they’ve went over or who they’ve talked to, it just opens up for too many more issues.”
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
stay in their cars??? What kind of search would that be? How would they even assume that?
I don't get it either. But this was the quote. "conduct the search from their vehicles"
Coup said the understanding was for Equusearch to conduct the search from their vehicles and stay off private property, as it did during the initial search.


I can see both sides of this issue though. Maybe EQS got some info they thought better not to share with the local LE? I can also see how local LE would be wanting to know where they went and where they searched. EQS easily could have talked to somebody that wasn't comfortable with talking to local LE for various reasons.

“[T]hese additional agencies wanting to come back in — with it still being an active investigation, with it all being private land over there — we felt as an agency that it would be better for any other searchers to go through the sheriff’s office,” Coup told the newspaper. “It’s private land and not knowing what they’ve went over or who they’ve talked to, it just opens up for too many more issues.”
I do also. It makes sense for one "lead agency" to have all of the information.
On the other hand, Equusearch is a very reputable agency who typically works very closely with LE. I know this is a separate branch than the main one with Tim Miller, but I can't imagine they operate too terribly differently. I'd imagine they're not just "going rogue" for the hell of it.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

Equusearch Midwest issues statement regarding last weekend’s search for Summer Wells​

Equusearch Midwest, a volunteer-based team of trained searchers, said its reports from last weekend’s search were turned over to Capt. Tim Coup of the Church Hill Rescue Squad for him to pass along to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday evening and Wednesday. The organization also said it was cleared by the sheriff’s office to conduct the search.

In regards to the articles that are being circulated surrounding the Hawkins County, TN search for five-year-old Summer Wells, Cpt. Tim Coup with the Church Hill rescue squad stated that Equusearch Midwest was cleared by Hawkins County sheriffs office to search this past weekend. Dave Rader has been in constant communication with Cpt. Coup regarding all agendas, and Cpt. Coup assures him that his statements were all miscommunication with Media. Equusearch arrived in Hawkins Cty on Thursday evening and spent Friday – Sunday mapping and ground searching, arriving home Monday evening. After a very long and exhaustive weekend, all mapping/communications/field activity reports were turned over to Cpt. Coup, for him to pass along to HCSO on Tuesday evening and Wednesday. Equusearch never had any intentions of “keeping things to ourselves”. Equusearch will only take on a case if there is open communication and cooperation with Law Enforcement and/or any lead organization involved. If any single item of importance were located this past weekend, Cpt. Coup and HCSO would have been the very first to know, immediately. Furthermore, any land or private property that Equusearch encounters, they have always asked landowners for permission to search, first, if a search warrant is not involved. Equusearch is well trained in crime scene preservation and also keeping open lines of communication with lead organizations of a search. Our MANY letters of recommendation can attest to this, along with our reputation of bringing the missing home. Thank you to all who have reached out regarding these falsities, and as always, Lost is Not Alone.
 

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