Missing in Tennessee: The Case of Summer Wells

Summer Moon Utah Wells is the 5 year old daughter of Donald Wells and Candus Blye. She is the youngest of 4 kids who live in the home in the rural Beech Creek neighborhood of Tennessee. Summer’s mother describes her as the boss of the family, saying that she knows how to keep her three big brothers in line. Also residing on the property is Candus mother, also named Candus, who lives in a trailer near the main home. 

The day that Summer iss reported missing begins with running some errands, and then Candus, her mother, the son of a family friend named Hunter, and young Summer all stop at a little local swimming hole to cool off. 

When the family returns home, Summer and her mom help grandma plant some flowers in the little garden in front of her trailer. Summer’s mom Candus reports to local news station WJHL that when they finish gardening, they wash up and got candy from Grandma, then she walks her back into the house to be with her brothers. Candus says that then she walks away for two minutes before coming back into the house and asking the boys “Where’s your sister?”

The boys tell their mother that she just went downstairs to play with some toys. The mom reports calling and calling her name , but she doesn’t respond which is usual so she goes down looking for her.

Then Candus says Summer was “just gone”

When Candus realizes she can’t find Summer, her first call is to Don, and Don immediately heads home in a rush and calls the police on the way. 

On Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 at approximately 6:30 pm, Summer Wells is reported missing by her father Don to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office. They respond to the residence immediately, and issue an Endangered Child Alert as they begin their search. By the next morning when she has still not been located, that is upgraded to a statewide AMBER Alert. 

Over three thousand acres of land, property, and bodies of water are searched extensively. More than 100 agencies descend upon the surrounding remote wilderness in an effort to find a little girl who may have just wandered off. The terrain is treacherous and the search is unable to take civilian volunteers because of the danger in it. Yet searchers persist, through injuries and exhaustion and technical issues.

Meanwhile, investigators begin with the things closer to home, interviewing everyone connected to Summer including her siblings, neighbors, church connections, and family friends. Local properties are searched whenever residents will give permission, and hours of security footage from neighbors is reviewed. 

During this footage review, the TBI and the HCSO have discovered a Toyota pickup truck in the area in the days before Summer’s disappearance. It’s said to be probably a 1998-2000 maroon or red Toyota Tacoma with a full bed ladder rack and white buckets in the truck bed. It’s the only vehicle where they say they haven’t been able to ID the driver, so that driver is just being asked to come forward as a possible witness- they just want to know what this driver may have seen. They say they’re “stressing” the fact that this person is NOT a suspect. As of today they are STILL searching for this so if the truck sounds familiar to you please call 1-800-TBI-FIND

Unfortunately, more than 5 months have gone by now with no new leads, no new information. The TBI has released no persons of interest, and no indication that there is any evidence to suggest what happened to Summer. Anything you read or hear beyond that at this point is simply speculation.

To hear some of the investigative theories, listen to the full podcast episode at: 

Apple Podcasts, Spotify Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

To spread awareness of Summer’s story, please share this blog post, podcast episode, or social media. 




Summer was last seen on Ben Hill Road at her home in the Beech Creek neighborhood of Hawkins County Tennessee a little before 6:30 pm on June 15th 2021.

At the time of her disappearance, Summer is approximately 3 feet tall and 40 pounds. She has blonde hair in a buzz cut which her parents say was her request. She has blue eyes and is Caucasian. She was last seen wearing grey pants, a pink shirt, and may have been barefoot.

If you have any information about the disappearance of little Summer Wells, or the pickup truck police are still searching for, please contact 1800 TBI FIND 




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