JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL)- More legal troubles wasn’t the plan for missing Hawkins County five-year-old Summer Wells‘ parents after they returned home from Hollywood after filming for Dr. Phil.
Not long after their return, Summer’s father, Don Wells, was arrested on suspicion for Driving Under the Influence. He was then arrested again in court the following Monday for violating his probation.
In his first on-camera interview since going to Los Angeles and being charged, Wells told News Channel 11 that he knows he’s no “media darling.”
“I have lost control. I’ve done stupid things and for that, I apologize,” Don Wells said during a break from his sheetrock work in Jonesborough at Persimmon Ridge Park.
Wells says he has struggled emotionally since the disappearance of his daughter.
“You think of them going through torture or whatever they may be going through. It’s such a hard thing to think about and deal with, and all you can do is just pray to God that he’ll watch over them. It’s just an impossible thing to deal with,” he said. “God’s the only hope you have to deal with those sorts of things.”
Summer’s disappearance is not all he and his wife, Candus Bly, have been dealing with.
“We’ve had problems with threats and violence and all kind of things like that, and it’s been dangerous,” Wells said.
It’s clear to Wells how many people think of him.
“One guy said he was going to come see me with his 9mm gun, and since then I’ve been able to get a hold of him and talk to him. We actually, thank goodness, we had lunch together and we worked things out,” Wells said.
“It’s been dangerous for the people I work for, for everybody involved with us. It’s been dangerous not only for us but for everybody we’re involved with,” he said. “I was relieved actually when they took our boys out of our house. The welfare ain’t going to want them there, and I don’t want them there. Nobody would in their right mind.”
Summer’s older brothers were taken by Child Protective Services in July, which Don says has put a further strain now on the Wells’ marriage.
“Me and her have had a lot of problems because of this, and we’re both just down and miss our kids,” he said. “And don’t know exactly how to deal with all that.”
The couple stands together in what they think happened to their only daughter.
“Me and Candus know for a fact that Summer was abducted. We know that.”
News Channel 11 asked Wells how he was certain Summer had been abducted.
“Well, the reason that I know is because I know my wife, and I know what kind of emotions and the heartbreak that she’s been going through and the way everything happened when she called me,” he said.
Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation say they have found no evidence Summer was abducted.
“Why is it our property is any different than any other property where kids are abducted? What makes them think that our property is ‘Oh, there’s no way an abduction can happen here,’ but everybody else is probable but not this property?” shared Don.
Wells told News Channel 11 he was advised by his lawyer to not speak about his DUI or Violation of Probation charges. A gag order has also been placed on the Child Protective Services case involving his and Bly’s three older sons.