Discussion in 'Missing Persons Discussion' started by hollye, Jun 16, 2021.
Not a chance. Folks will just create new ones.
Years ago, perhaps 20, our southeastern Tennessee neighborhood was shaken by the loss of a little boy. The very nice house in the very nice established subdivision with the perfectly manicured lawn, was several years old, not the first family to live at the property. One lovely morning the young mother and her young son were walking in the yard, just the two of them, and he stepped behind her and vanished. Just that quickly, he vanished. Was gone. Unknown to anyone, the current owners, the previous owners, the contractor who cleared the land and built the house, there was a cave underneath the property. There was also a tiny, tiny, child sized entrance to it in their yard. Just large enough for the little boy to quick as a wink slip into. The mother did realize almost immediately what had happened and called our wonderful first responders, but the little one perished. I don't know what has happened to this little girl. My heart goes out to the searchers and her family. I only tell this story because strange things happen sometimes. Unbelievable things DO happen sometimes. I so wish she would be found soon.
praying for a Rebecca Lewis type outcome for this little girl
ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says 221 leads have come in about 5-year-old Summer Wells. Yet, none of them have led them to the missing Hawkins County girl.
Tim Coup, the incident commander for ground search operations, said the search will continue today with a focus on specific areas using specialized teams.
"Every day, until we find Summer Wells, we will have specialized search teams, whether it be canine, specialized man tracking such as that we have already utilized, to go back into these areas. Once we get a lot of these people out, it may make this area calm down a little bit, but we will have people in the Beech Creek community from one end to the other working tireless, day in and day out. We'll keep fresh crews coming in and still continue to search until we find Summer,” Coup said.
AT&T and Verizon have brought cell signal boosters to help increase reception, but Incident Commander of Ground Search Captain Tim Coup said service was “still spotty.”
Another issue crews have had to deal with is the area itself. The rough terrain presented a challenge in the search efforts early on. It’s also why, as Coup explained, investigators had not asked for volunteers to help in the search.
“Due to the extreme terrain, the nature of this, trying to locate her, trained professionals [are] what we need at this time to make sure that these residents don’t become endangered…and expand this issue with having to search for somebody else,” Coup said on June 17.
TN AMBER Alert: What happened to Summer Wells? The missing 5-year-old from Rogersville
Hoping once again that today is the day little Summer is found. Trying to believe in a miracle for her.
Can I ask the SAR experts on here, assuming they are using SAR canines in their terrain searches, how difficult is it for those dogs to pick up Summer's scent in all the vegetation, trampled or untrampled? Can they track on plants as well as ground? And with the ground, do their noses have to be within a certain range of a scent to hit on it? What if it's blood and not just pheromones?
(Sorry for all the questions, I know nothing about SAR dogs, just admire the heck out of them.)
People keep mentioning the rough terrain. How likely is it that a 5-year-old child would traverse this type of terrain on her own? I know they are a rural family, but if the terrain is so difficult, I can't see how she would have wandered too far on her own.
Is it possible Summer saw an animal and followed it into the woods? We live in an extremely rural area, surrounded by forestry and an abundance of wildlife. We were down at the lake just last week and there was a baby deer standing nearby. My little ones quietly and cautiously followed him to try and get as close as they could. The baby retreated into the woods and my kids followed behind. One minute I could see them and the next, not at all. I had to call them back. I think they would have followed the baby even further had I not been watching MOO
Maybe, but once it got difficult to walk would she have continued? It just seems unlikely to me that she wouldn't be fairly close to home if she left on her own.
I'm wondering where the cameras are. Are they in a position to have caught every vehicle that could have approached their house?
^^ This. I have also wondered. Summer is a little kid and they are great at getting through/in places larger people cannot (stands of thick brush, holes), but the way the search teams have described the area, it does make you wonder how far she would have gotten. State of mind is a factor - if she was happily wandering or had realized she was lost and panicked. Five year olds don't have a very developed sense of distance or time. Usually 'when it gets dark' is time to go in or go home. So given that we have been told she went missing in the early evening, and it's midsummer, dark is around 9:30. Probably darker earlier in the woods. What would she have done when it got dark? Probably stopped. So the initial on-foot search circumference could have been what the searchers considered to be the outer limit of how far a small child could have walked in three hours (+/-).
Don't doubt these hunters. I have 16 cameras on 30 acres, and about 8 cover the roads. Similar terrain to what they are covering, and yes it is quite treacherous.
Poachers, cougars and safety are the reasons we cover what we do. I imagine they would have similar reasons. We have a family that vacations, as we do, with 2 small kids and we made sure to cover the area that shares a line with them so in case any of the kids goes exploring we have a method of tracing.
Home cameras are also huge...Hawkins has its own drug problem as we all do and security cameras are cheap enough. At home we cover an entire acre, the driveway and part of the road...so it is entirely possible that whole area is covered. Plus, small town. We know everything or someone on a porch watched it all. Anything out of the ordinary someone noticed. Plus Summer belonged to her family, and the area knows who her people are, so there are a lot of eyes on kids you may not know about that would have said or done something.
My husband just told me we lived in that community for about 6 months. It is small, close knit and poor but full of good people, with and without shady pasts. I was pregnant when I was there and people were kind, curious and friendly...but stand offish as long as they thought you didn't belong.
Not likely at all, imo. And impossible if she really was barefoot. I train in the gym to tackle this type of terrain and I can't tell you how many times, despite the physical training , I have hit muscle failure. Summer is tiny and slender...not much muscle mass, in other words. She would have become exhausted very quickly. It's certainly possible that she could have sustained an injury , but if that were the case , SAR would have found her pretty quickly because, like I said , she wouldn't have made it too far from home.
That's just my opinion. I'm sure others will be along soon to correct me.
It’s hard to answer your questions bc different dogs have been trained in different ways and have different abilities.
I doubt they are using ground trailing (nose to the ground) any longer. They trailed from the house presumably. Once the dog loses that trail there’s nothing else to track. Those dogs don’t always also search. They trail. They might have theses dogs with them in case they pick up on another trail. Or these dogs might ALSO do some of things in the next paragraph.
Handlers are more actively doing air scenting now. Those dogs can pick up human scent anywhere in the area. Often they’re cross trained for cadaver detection and can be further trained for water, wilderness , articles (of clothing or other types of evidence) and urban or avalanche.
Some dogs are just boss at one or two types of detection and would be called in specifically for that. Ie; Dogs with great water detection will be walking the banks of the river. Others have a solid general ability and will be walking the woods and fields with their handler.
This terrain isn’t considered the most difficult for dogs (urban detection such as the dogs at the World Trade Center is the hardest and avalanche after that ) so while it might be challenging it’s not the boss dog level. How far they can smell depends on conditions, wind, etc. Its a significant distance though (and has been reported to be 12 miles or more in ideal circumstances). In dense woods that might be less but it’s still a good distance.
I know a handler that has a team there. They’re using a variety of very skilled pups
I keep thinking back to when I was a kid, and enjoyed playing in the woods behind our house. Immediately behind our house, there was an old, very overgrown garden plot full of briars. One day I noticed what seemed to be a trail going through the briars, making a low tunnel of sorts. Being curious, I squatted down and went into the tunnel. The trail wound around, went down a short but steep hill, then opened up into a small opening surrounded by trees. It amazed me. I'd found my own little secret spot in the world. In reality, the area was actually surrounded by houses that were behind the trees, and my parents knew exactly where I was, but I enjoyed having that quiet little spot all to myself. I think part of it was knowing that my parents couldn't have crawled through that briar tunnel. It was too low and narrow for adults. That spot was ALL MINE. I pretty much stayed "in trouble" when I was a kid (I had very strong opinions and didn't hesitate to voice them! LOL!), and my sister and I constantly butted heads, so that spot became my own little "escape".
From the video of her dancing in the rain, Summer reminds me a lot of myself when I was that age. Tomboy, free-spirited, curious, nature-loving, didn't care about being muddy or wet, etc.
I wonder if Summer found a "secret" place like I did, for enjoyment and/or perhaps as a quiet spot to get away from sibling squabbles, etc. If so, her parents may not have even known about it, especially if Summer had recently discovered it.
What if she went there, got distracted by a pretty rock or an animal, or perhaps even fell asleep, then before she realized it, it got dark? Would she stay put, or would she try to go home? Me, at that age, I'd probably try to go home in the dark, knowing that the longer I was gone, the more upset my parents would be with me for staying out so late (understandably). I wouldn't have realized it would be safer for me to stay put until morning.
The terrain here (Chattanooga area) isn't quite as rugged as it appears to be in her area, but even here, there are places where it would be soooo easy to make a mis-step or trip over a root or rock, and slide down a hill into the underbrush. If you were injured to the point where you couldn't call out, or if you were afraid to call out, it would make it difficult for searchers to find you because of the underbrush. There are also holes, caves, deep ditches, rocky/root-y creeks, etc. ... all of which could potentially make a person (especially a small child) difficult to find.
I'm still hoping for a miracle, but it's sure not looking good.
Totally agree. Maybe once LE comes out and says that the family is cleared and they don’t suspect foul play within the family, people will stop the negative talk!
I just hope we hear something positive from LE soon!
Does your friend know if search dogs really lost her scent by the road, as her father has claimed?
ETA: That question was to bellyup.
If she did she wouldn’t say. A reputable SAR person doesn’t release evidence they gain with their dogs. They protect the investigation.
I have a lot of opinions on this case so far, but I digress. I'm hoping Summer Moon is found soon. However, we all know at this point the chances are dwindling quickly