KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — The search for missing Hawkins County 5-year-old Summer Wells is gaining more national attention after her parents’ appearance on Dr. Phil last week.
Summer was reported missing from her home in Beech Creek community on June 15.
Five months later, NewsNation correspondent Brian Entin is on the ground in the Tri-Cities. Entin is reporting on Summer Wells after covering the Gabby Petito case.
“It’s interesting to be coming into a case five months in and hear investigators say that we’re basically in the same place that we started….and you think that there would be some progress,” Entin said. “It’s just such a bizarre story, and I think that’s why people are interested.”
Entin spoke with Summer’s father, Don Wells, but was unable to interview the mother, Candus Bly.
“We obviously wanted to talk to Candus, and he said that she was just too emotional at this point,” Entin said. “It seems like Don is really concerned about the public’s perception of Candus coming off of the Dr. Phil interview.”
It was Don Wells’ first on-camera interview since the Dr. Phil episodes aired.
“He did say something interesting about (Candus’) friends, but I tried to drill in on that a little bit. ‘Well what do you mean? What friends are you talking about? What kind of friends did Candus have? What do you mean?’ He sort of shut it down pretty quickly,” Entin said.
Entin also sat down with Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson.
“I asked him, ‘Do you believe that Don and Candus are involved?’ and he said, ‘We’re not ruling anyone out at this point,'” Entin said.
While speaking with News Channel 11, Entin described some of the things that make this case unique.
“I’m seeing a fascination with the case. I think people are digging for clues on their own behind their computer screens at home. But the most interesting and different thing with this case that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before is the way the family has been interacting with these social media sleuths and YouTubers,” he said.
Entin said getting Summer’s story and face out there is the most important part of the story.
“I think at the end of the day, people just need to look at the picture, remember the picture of Summer, look at the video, look at her mannerisms, because she could be anywhere,” he said.
The rest of Entin’s interview with Don Wells and his sitdown with Sheriff Lawson will air at 9 p.m. Tuesday on NewsNation Prime.
Anyone with information on Summer’s disappearance is asked to call the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND.