The father of missing Tennessee 6-year-old Summer Wells, who vanished more than a year ago from her family’s rural home, has penned a jailhouse letter addressed to "the person or persons responsible."
Don Wells is in jail for an unrelated DUI arrest that happened after his daughter’s disappearance. He was out on probation at the time.
"Not only have you broken Summer’s heart and taken her away from her mother and father, who love her very much, but you ruined her chances to become educated, ruining her life," he wrote in a letter posted to the family's Find Summer Wells website.
Wells and his wife, Candus Bly, had their other children, three sons, removed from the home following an unsuccessful search for Summer last July.
Bly told police she last saw her daughter at their home on Ben Hill Road in Rogersville on June 15, 2021, when she said she came inside from planting flowers with her grandmother.
The parents have maintained that they believe someone entered their 11-acre property, lured the girl outside and took her.
In the aftermath of her disappearance, according to the letter, both Wells and Bly lost their jobs and have struggled to find work since.
"You see, the public blames us," he wrote. "I don’t know if we’ll ever find employment again. Nobody will hire my wife, and I’ve been fired from the job I’ve had for 13 years."
He asked for his daughter’s return.
"We may end up losing everything," he added. "When you took our little girl, you took our very lives."
The family's media manager wrote on YouTube that another letter, addressed to Summer, is expected to be made public soon.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the case remains active and ongoing but declined to comment further.
When she was last seen, Summer was about 3 feet tall and around 40 pounds. At the time she went missing, she was wearing gray pants, a pink shirt, and may have been barefoot. She has blonde hair.
Investigators are still looking for a possible witness – the driver of a red pickup truck, which may have been in the area of Ben Hill Road in Rogersville on June 15 and 16. It had full-sized ladder racks and white buckets in the bed.
Investigators say the circumstances of Summer’s disappearance have yet to be determined – but they said they were looking into "all possibilities."
Investigators say they’ve served numerous search warrants and dedicated thousands of man-hours on the case in the past year. The Amber Alert remains active.
Summer’s parents both have criminal records, and Bly’s sister, Rose Marie Bly, was reported missing from Wisconsin in 2009 in a case that remains unsolved.