Hawkins Co. Sheriff’s office to lead in future searches for Summer Wells

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HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Church Hill Rescue Squad says it will no longer be the lead agency for orchestrating any additional searches for missing Hawkins County 5-year-old Summer Wells.

Instead, the agency says any future searches will be through the sheriff’s office unless the rescue squad is dispatched to reactivate the search.

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“Church Hill Rescue Squad will continue to support local, state and federal agencies in the search for Summer Wells,” Capt. Tim Coup said in a release. “Church Hill Rescue Squad at this time feels that this is in the best interest of the case in the search for Summer Wells. Church Hill Rescue Squad wants to extend its thanks to everyone that has been involved in the search efforts up to this point and will continue to assist as needed. Once again, this is an active investigation in the efforts to locate Summer Wells and do not want to hinder or interfere with this investigation.”

Coup says the reward fund for information leading to the location or recovery of Wells stands at $2,970. That does not include two checks that were donated early on in the search, which put the total at $37,970.

Summer Moon-Utah Wells was reportedly last seen Tuesday, June 15 walking near her home on Ben Hill Road in the Beech Creek community, wearing a pink shirt and gray shorts.

On Wednesday, June 16, TBI chose to upgrade to a statewide AMBER Alert for Summer at 11:08 a.m. EST because of “new information and growing concern.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has received more than 1,000 tips in the search and is asking the public for help identifying the driver of a red or maroon Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with a full ladder rack that may have been in the area of the Wells home around the time Summer went missing. The TBI states the driver is not a suspect but could be a potential witness.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office at 423-272-7121 or the TBI at 800-TBI-FIND.

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