HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. — The search for a missing Tennessee girl has been hampered due to misleading information, according to authorities. Summer Wells, 5, disappeared from her family home two weeks ago. On Tuesday, investigators urged the public to discontinue sending information based on rumors and speculation as the well-meaning tips are slowing down the process of finding the girl.
Summer was first reported missing on June 15. Since that time, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has received more the 650 tips. However, the bureau urged the public to share only credible information as groups on social media continue to spread speculation, Fox reported.
“Sharing speculation or rumors only makes the process more difficult for law enforcement by increasing the number of non-credible tips,” the agency tweeted.
Investigators have now received 650 tips in the search for Summer Wells.
We urge the public to share info from credible sources. Sharing speculation or rumors only makes the process more difficult for law enforcement by increasing the number of non-credible tips. #TNAMBERAlert pic.twitter.com/VJoEG9n9jS
— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) June 29, 2021
Initially, TBI said the circumstances of Summer’s disappearance from her home in Hawkins County were unclear.
Her parents said they suspected their daughter had been lured outside and abducted. Her mother, Candus Bly, said she left Summer with her two brothers who were watching TV in the kitchen, and when she returned a few minutes later her daughter was gone, WJHL-TV reported.
A day after Summer went missing, a statewide Amber Alert was issued. However, the search now enters its third week with no trace of the child.
Capt. Tim Coup, the incident commander with the Church Hill Rescue Squad, told WJHL that multiple crews remained on standby locally should they be needed to jump back into the search as large scale operations have been reduced.
The prolonged search for a missing child is emotionally draining, said Jeff Wadley, who has worked in search and rescue operations for 43 years, WBIR-TV reported.
“We’re reading a mystery book and we don’t have the last page,” he said.
Meanwhile, TBI has asked the public to help them contact a possible witness who was seen driving a red pickup truck in the area around the time of Summer’s disappearance.