KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — A vigil was held Wednesday evening, one year after Summer Wells was reported missing from her home in Hawkins County.
People gathered at Warriors’ Path State Park in Kingsport where there was song and prayer. The vigil took place at the spot where Summer’s mother had taken her swimming before returning to their home in the Beech Creek community. That evening, Summer was reported missing.
The vigil was organized by the church group Awaken. Joseph Broadwater, one of the vigil leaders, said the gathering was about staying hopeful.
“There’s been ups and there’s been downs, and that’s one of the amazing things about what we get to do as a group. We get to come together to events like this and actually encourage and uplift each other and just keep that hope alive,” Broadwater said. “Because we’re going to hang onto that hope until there’s some big breakthrough in any direction.”
“It’s just one spot that she spent so much time, so we just thought we’d love to be in the area, the last spot that she got to enjoy.”
Some brought items like toys and tributes and left them next to the swimming hole.
Broadwater hoped the positive and hopeful theme of the vigil would counteract the negativity surrounding the case.
“I don’t think the negativity is helping the Summer Wells case in any way,” Broadwater said. “And there’s so many false stories, people running rampant with whatever crosses their minds, so it’s just really not helping the case come full circle.”
Despite the positive message, people left with no answers as to Summer’s whereabouts.
“She’s out there somewhere. And we’re hoping that she’s fine,” vigil attendee Tina Watts said. “I mean that’s all that I want. That she’s out here somewhere and unharmed.”