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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‘There’s still more questions than answers’ | TBI says investigators won’t give up search for Summer Wells​

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) released a video updating the public on the latest in the search for missing five-year-old Summer Wells.

TBI Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart said the investigation into the Hawkins County child’s disappearance is ongoing.

“Unfortunately, there’s still more questions than answers,” Earhart said. “But we haven’t given up, and we won’t.”

Earhart said the TBI and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office are working daily to find Summer.

“We’re still looking, still searching, still following tips,” Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said in the video. “One thing that we need to do is preserve the integrity of this case because we can’t tell everything we’re doing, we can’t tell everything we know, and a lot of the stuff that we get called on, we’ve already done several times.”

Investigators are still combing through hundreds of tips, but the TBI says tips that stem from social media are slowing efforts to find Summer.



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Summer Wells case to be featured Wednesday on 'In Pursuit with John Walsh'​

“In Pursuit with John Walsh" will feature an episode Wednesday evening on 5-year-old Summer Wells who was reported missing from her home in the Beech Creek community of Hawkins County on June 15.

The Summer Wells episode of “In Pursuit with John Walsh” airs Wednesday, September 29 at 10 p.m. on the Investigation Discovery network.


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Rumors on social media are derailing search for missing Summer Wells, officials say​

Summer Wells vanished from her family’s home in rural Tennessee more than three months ago. The circumstances surrounding the 5-year-old’s disappearance garnered national headlines, and law enforcement spent weeks combing the back country for any sign of her.

The case is far from cold, law enforcement said, but it’s no longer the rugged, mountainous terrain that’s derailing search efforts — it’s a slew of misinformation circulating on social media.

“We want to urge you only to share information from official sources,” Leslie Earhart with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said in an update Thursday. “The misinformation and speculation simply don’t help the case. Our teams continue to sift through hundreds of tips and it turns out most of them are rooted in rumors and bad information spread on social media.”

“We’re still looking, still searching, we’re still following tips,” Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said Thursday. “One thing that we need to do is preserve the integrity of this case because we can’t tell everything we’re doing. We can’t tell everything we know.”

Summer’s case is not the first to face interference from social media and web sleuths.

True crime has attracted the masses for decades with shows such as “20/20,” “Dateline” and “America’s Most Wanted.” That fascination has seemingly grown in the age of podcasts with hits such as “Serial” and “Crime Junkie.”

“True crime is everywhere,” Kelli Boling, a researcher at the University of South Carolina who studies true crime audiences, told Time last year. “When you watch the nightly newscast, you’re watching true crime. What makes the genre special is that it turns those facts into a narrative, a really strong story.”

The problem is that audiences often forget the impact reliving these crimes has on the victim’s families, Time reported.

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