KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Dozens of heads bowed Tuesday night at Borden Park as community members prayed for the safe return of missing 5-year-old Summer Wells.
It’s been six weeks since Summer was reported missing — a month and a half of endless searching and investigating from hundreds of agencies from across the country.
Summer’s mother, Candus Bly, attended the prayer session where the community offered solace and hope for her daughter’s return.
One woman in attendance spoke up during the prayer session to apologize to Bly for following social media rumors.
“This is about Summer; it’s not about anybody’s opinion,” Synthia Bennett said. “It’s about Summer and her being found.”
“I apologize to everyone here that I listened to social media. Candus needs our support. Her family — not only is Summer gone, but her boys are gone. She needs our support….Please forgive me for burying my faith in social media. Candus, I apologize. I love you, and I love your family, and I hope that Summer is found soon,” Bennett continued.
News Channel 11 spoke with Bennett after her testimony at Tuesday’s prayer vigil, who said she believed she owed Bly an apology.
“I wanted to apologize to Candus and the people in general because I was believing things on social media that I had no reason to believe at all,” Bennett said. “I fell victim, and I felt like I needed to apologize.”
To those who continue spreading rumors and misinformation on social media regarding the disappearance of Summer, Bennett warned to be mindful of the sources.
“Be careful what you choose to believe,” she said. “I started praying, and God put in my heart, ‘Synthia, you don’t know the situation; you don’t know who’s guilty; you have no idea — you just don’t know.’ And tonight was all about Summer.”
Bennett said she never planned to attend the prayer vigil held at Borden Park, but she had a change of heart.
“I came and that’s when I really realized this is about Summer,” she said. “So, anything you read on social media, please take it with a grain of salt.”
After Tuesday night’s vigil, Bennett believes that her experience on social media has changed.
“My breaking point is tonight,” she said. “In other words, I’m going to go home, and I’m human, so I’m going to read it because I’m human, and we read things, but it’s my choice from here on out if I believe it or not, and I’m going to choose to not believe it.”
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation revealed it has surpassed 1,000 tips in the case — none of which have led to a solid lead.
The TBI continues to search for the driver of a red or maroon Toyota pickup truck, who the agency describes as a potential witness.
The AMBER Alert lists the following details for Summer.
- Age: 5
- Sex: Female
- Race: White
- Hair: Blonde Eyes: Blue
- Height: 3′
- Weight: 40 lbs.
- Missing From: Rogersville, Tennessee
- Missing Since: June 15, 2021
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office at 423-272-7121 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.