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High-profile missing child cases risk going cold

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Children are missing in Tennessee and, unfortunately, some cases are slowly deteriorating without new leads.

Summer Wells, who disappeared three years ago this month, and her sad case is similar to that of Sebastian Rogers.

Typically, a case is not considered closed until several years after a child goes missing.

But for Summer and Sebastian, the Amber Alerts remain active, as do the efforts to find them both.

Three years ago this month, five-year-old Summer disappeared from her home in Hawkins County in east Tennessee.

That's a long time for a missing child.

“The further you go, the less likely you are to recover. About one percent of children survive more than 24 hours. We're hoping Summer Wells will be at that one percent…she'll be at one percent.”

It was Margie Quinn speaking a few days after Summer's disappearance.

Quinn had led the TBI's Amber Alert program and says time is of the essence.

We witnessed the massive search effort as Sky5 flew over crews on the ground.

Nothing was ever found and to date, more than six thousand pieces of information requested from the TBI have yielded no leads.

Most agree that it is unlikely that Summer simply walked away and was instead the victim of foul play.

“Neighbors are going to be questioned…sex offenders in the area will be questioned, anyone who might commit this type of crime,” TBI Special Agent Jeff Lofquest said in 2021.

Authorities did the same in the Sebastian Rogers case.

The 15-year-old disappeared from his Hendersonville home more than four months ago.

Also in this case, investigators believe it is unlikely the autistic teen walked away on his own with little or no scent detected by K-9s.

“We have not exonerated anyone, but we have no evidence to support foul play,” said Sumner County Sheriff's Investigator Eric Craddock.

Yet, anyway.

However, those close to the matter say this is now the most likely scenario.

Authorities are now looking into two new tips involving Sebastian, including another alleged quote from someone who looked like him in East Tennessee.

But so far, nothing has led to a credible lead

In either case, tips can be called in at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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