Summer Wells' brothers removed from family home; dad says 'It’s probably better for them'

Summer Wells' brothers removed from family home; dad says 'It’s probably better for them'


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The father of Summer Wells – a 5-year-old Tennessee girl who vanished from her family’s home in June – said his three sons have been removed from his house by child protective authorities, saying “it’s probably better for them” because false theories and speculation about what happened to the girl drove him to drink. 

Donald Wells confirmed the removal of the boys this month during an interview on the “Jay is 4 Justice” podcast over the weekend, WJHL-TV reported.  

“They come at me and said – either posing – said they had the inside scoop with TBI (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation) and that they knew I sold my daughter for drugs, and I flipped out. I flipped out,” Wells told podcast host Jennifer Youngblood. “I believed that stuff. Like an idiot, I believed it and I flipped out, started drinking and everything else. And that’s why they took our kids.”

In another interview with the Kingsport Times-News, Wells said the Department of Children’s Services removed the boys from the home but did not elaborate on the reason why. The move comes amid a weekslong effort to find Summer Wells, who disappeared June 15 from the Rogersville home.

Tennessee search and rescue teams aren’t giving up in the hunt for Summer Wells after the 5-year-old disappeared several weeks ago, but crews are "scaling back" the efforts. 
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

Several massive searches have been conducted around the area since. Donald Wells said the boys were taken from the home for their own safety. 

“Right now it’s not safe at my house,” Wells told the newspaper. “There’s too much going on and people are crazier than hell, and right now it’s just not safe at my house. There’s too much going on. Too many crazy people coming around trying to start stuff.”

“We’ve had a few people come in the middle of the night. We had one – I don’t think he’ll be coming back to our house anymore though,” he added. 

He did not say where the boys were taken or for how long. A spokeswoman for the Department of Children’s Services told Fox News the agency is participating in the investigation but could not provide further comment. 

Wells and his wife, Candus Bly, have both said they believe Summer Wells was taken from their 11-acre property along a rural road. Bly said she brought the girl inside from gardening and left her with her three brothers. They lost track of her within a few minutes and she hasn’t been seen since, she said. 

Investigators say the circumstances surrounding her disappearance have yet to be determined – but they said they were looking into “all possibilities.”

Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson told the newspaper Monday that social media was causing unsubstantiated rumors about the case to be taken as fact by some. 

“There’s a lot of incorrect information, and a lot of advice coming from social media that’s hampering the investigation with stuff we’ve already done many times,” he said.

Summer Wells was last seen at her home in Rogersville, Tenn., on June 15. Donald Wells confirmed his three sons were removed from the family home this month. 
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation )

Investigators have been looking for a red pickup truck, possibly a late 1990s Toyota, which may have been in the area of Ben Hill Road on June 15 and 16. It had full-sized ladder racks and white buckets in the bed.

Summer is about 3 feet tall and weighs around 40 pounds. Her blond hair is believed to be shorter than it appears in most of the pictures of her that authorities have circulated to help the search.

Fox News’Mike Ruiz contributed to this report. 

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