Tennessee missing 5-year-old Summer Wells: Investigators search for pickup truck

Summer Wells

It has been almost a month since 5-year-old Summer Wells was last seen. Authorities have turned her northeast Tennessee town upside down trying to find the little girl.

Summer Moon-Utah Wells was last seen at her home in the Beech Creek community of Hawkins County, Tennessee on June 15. That community is located along the Interstate 81 corridor just over 70 miles northeast of Knoxville or 15 miles southwest of Kingsport, Tennessee. Her disappearance triggered a statewide Amber Alert the following day.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said on Monday they have received over 935 tips, but so far none have led them to Summer. 

"Everything that we do is trying to put a piece of the puzzle together to find Summer," said Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson. "And it may not be something that could mean anything to the people, but it could mean everything to us."

Summer Wells (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

The sheriff said investigators are now searching for a maroon or red 1998 to 2000 Toyota Tacoma with a full-bed ladder rack along with white buckets in the truck bed. The Toyota pickup was seen in the Beech Creek and Ben Hill roads area on June 14-15. Investigators would like to speak with the driver of the pickup truck.

"We never know whose going to be in that area and we’re still looking for a red Toyota truck," the sheriff said.

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(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

Summer's disappearance led to a massive multi-day search by foot and by air through some of the roughest terrains in extreme heat. Despite the search being dramatically scaled back, authorities are still asking for help from residents.

"We’re still looking for help from the landowners too. Go back and check their trail cameras, security cameras. Every day, especially around the time that she disappeared," the sheriff said.

Summer is described by investigators as being 3-feet tall, weighing about 40 pounds, with blonde hair, and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing gray pants and a pink shirt. She is believed to be barefoot and her hair is now shorter than photos released by the TBI. She is believed to have wandered away from her home, but what happened next is anyone’s guess.

Summer Wells (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

"Right now everything is still on the table. We’re still trying to find out what happened to Summer. Everybody’s still a person of interest," the sheriff said.

Anyone who sees Summer is asked to call 911 immediately. Anyone with any information about her whereabouts is asked to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND or the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office at 423-272-7121.

This story is being reported out of Atlanta

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