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Desperate search for five-year-old girl who disappeared from home in Tennessee

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A desperate search is underway for a five-year-old girl who went missing from her home in Tennessee nine days ago.  

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Endangered Child Alert for Summer Moon-Utah Wells on June 15 after her parents say she vanished from the basement of their house in Rogersville.

Her father, Don Wells, told WVLT that Summer had been planting flowers in their yard with her mother and grandmother and then went inside on her own.  

He said she was last seen around 6.30pm that day, when she was wearing a pink shirt and grey shorts. She may have been barefoot as well. 

Don said the family believes Summer was kidnapped while investigators have not shared any concrete theory about what may have happened to her.  

On Tuesday, June 15, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Endangered Child Alert for Summer Moon-Utah Wells

Thousands of acres have been searched for Summer, but she has not been found

Thousands of acres have been searched for Summer, but she has not been found

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation started searching for Summer over a week ago

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation started searching for Summer over a week ago

‘She was planting flowers with her mother and her grandmother and she wanted to go into the house — wanted to go downstairs and play with her toys,’ Don said. 

‘I went down in the basement, and she was gone, so she went out the basement door, which was unlocked, and we haven’t seen her since,’ he added.

The Endangered Child Alert was upgraded to an AMBER Alert on June 16.

At the time, the TBI said they had no suspects and no description of any vehicle that could be connected to the case.

They did have at least 300 tips regarding Summer’s disappearance within a day of her going missing, though. 

Crews struggled during their immediate search for Summer, due poor cell service and challenging terrain in the wooded area they were looking in. They searched more than 680 acres by last Thursday.

At the time, authorities also asked neighbors to check for signs of Summer, as well as any surveillance pictures or videos of the girl. 

Her family last saw her around 6:30pm last Tuesday

She was wearing a pink shirt and grey shorts

Her family last saw her around 6:30pm last Tuesday. She was wearing a pink shirt and grey shorts on the evening of her disappearance

Pictured: Summer's dad, Donald Wells, speaking to the media

Pictured: Summer’s dad, Donald Wells, speaking to the media

Summer’s father, Don, also released a written statement to WJHL, claiming that he believed Summer was kidnapped, the first public comment from a parent.

‘She would never leave our hill. I think that someone snuck up on her and grabbed her. I don’t think she’s in the area because the dog goes down to the road and that’s the end of the trail, but I don’t know that for a fact,’ Don wrote. 

‘The way that she just disappeared, she would never do that.’

He added, ‘We know that there’s people praying all around the world praying for her safe return. So many people love her.’ 

The Wells’ home was also searched. Don told WVLT the next day, ‘Well I think they have to do that. They can’t rule out anybody it’s their job to rule out everybody.’ 

As of Monday, the FBI joined in the search for Summer, which had now stretched for six days and had spanned over 2,400 acres

As of Monday, the FBI joined in the search for Summer, which had now stretched for six days and had spanned over 2,400 acres

As of Thursday, search teams are focused on the area around Ben Hill Road, but there has still been no significant break in the case

As of Thursday, search teams are focused on the area around Ben Hill Road, but there has still been no significant break in the case

Searches were conducted over the weekend as tips continued to pour in about Summer’s disappearance.

As of Monday, the FBI joined in the search for Summer, which had now stretched for six days and had spanned over 2,400 acres.

It was also revealed then that Don was arrested on domestic assault charges in 2020, leading Summer’s mother, Candus Bly, to file for an order of protection.

‘I am afraid for my children and myself,’ Candus wrote.

She later asked for the order to be dismissed and the charges against Don were dropped on April 21, two months before Summer’s disappearance.

On Tuesday, Don shared that Candus passed a lie detector test at the district attorney’s office, according to WJHL.

The test appeared to come on the heels of a major tip, but no significant development occurred immediately afterwards.

Rose Marie Bly has been missing since she was last seen leaving her La Croix home on August 21, 2009

Rose is the sister of Summer's mother, Candus

Rose Marie Bly has been missing since she was last seen leaving her La Croix home on August 21, 2009. She was traveling to Cushing, which is five miles away

As of Thursday, search teams are focused on the area around Ben Hill Road, but there has still been no significant break in the case. 

The disappearance is made more shocking since another family member went missing over a decade ago. 

Candus had her sister Rose go missing in Wisconsin in 2009 and was never found.

The FBI says Rose Marie Bly has been missing since she was last seen leaving her La Croix home on August 21, 2009. She was traveling to Cushing, which is five miles away.

‘Her sister went missing and was never found not a trace,’ Don said. 

According to WJHL, Rose’s vehicle was found in a parking lot 30 miles from her home five days after she vanished.

While a connection hasn’t officially been ruled out, the TBI says there is no evidence of a link between the two disappearances. 

An investigation into Rose’s disappearance remains ongoing. 

Authorities are not looking for help in the search for Summer, but they remain open to credible tips. 

Summer is a white female with short blonde hair and blue eyes, standing approximately three feet tall.

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