HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The parents of missing 5-year-old Summer Wells appeared in juvenile court in Hawkins County for a hearing on Tuesday afternoon.
WJHL, News 2’s sister station, spoke with Donald Wells and Candus Bly outside the courthouse shortly after 1 p.m. EST.
Bly said off-camera that her sons had been in the custody of the Department of Child Protective Services since late last week. Over the weekend, Wells had said the same while he was on a podcast.
Bly said she did not want to say why the other children had been removed from the home.
According to Bly, they have hired an attorney.
Wells said that his other children are safer now that they are in DCPS custody, but he did not elaborate any further.
Bly told News Channel 11 the disappearance of her daughter Summer is a completely separate situation from what led to the involvement of children’s services.
Court documents were unavailable due to the age of the juveniles involved. The Hawkins County Clerk said no new paperwork has been filed related to either Bly or Wells.
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.