HAWKINS CO., Tenn. (WJHL) – Over the weekend, many viewers reached out to News 2’s sister station in the Tri-Cities area, News Channel 11 asking if the AMBER Alert for Summer Wells, the missing five-year-old from Hawkins County, had been canceled or called off.
A spokesperson for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation told News Channel 11:
“We have no updates to provide other than to say the investigation remains active and ongoing. AMBER Alerts remain active until the child is located.”
In a video released to the media last week, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Shelly Smitherman said, “We have agents assigned to the active AMBER Alerts that you will find on the TBI website. We continue to get leads on the older AMBER Alerts as well. Anytime we receive information, we will follow up on it, and we maintain an open investigation until that child has been recovered.”
Investigators say they are still searching for the driver of a red or maroon Toyota Tacoma with a full bed ladder rack with white buckets in the back. It was seen in the area around the time Summer went missing. They are continuing to stress that this person could be a witness and is not considered a suspect.
“As shown in recent other AMBER Alerts and Missing Children’s cases that we’ve worked, there could be a criminal aspect and something happen to her, and in order for us to work that investigation, there are just some things that we are not able to share with the public,” Smitherman said. “Typically on an AMBER alert and the ones that I’ve been involved in since I have been over this program, within a couple of days, we have a tip, or lead, or have an idea if they’ve been abducted, if they’ve maybe left into the woods. Somebody saw something that leads us hopefully to get an answer to where the child went or if they were taken. We’re going to have some tip or lead, and that is the frustrating part for law enforcement in this case and the public.”
Summer Wells was first reported missing from her family’s home in the Beech Creek community on June 15, and an Amber Alert was issued by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation the following day. As the search for Summer continues, anyone with any information regarding her whereabouts is asked to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.