The parents of missing 5-year-old Summer Wells were not given time on Dr. Phil’s stage, in person, during the first of two episodes the television show has titled “The Disappearance of Summer Wells.”

Airing Thurs- day, the first hour-long episode only showed Summer’s parents, Don Wells and Candus Bly, in pre-recorded videos. The show’s host, Phil McGraw, Ph.D., instead spoke onstage with two men he described as body language or human behavior analysts.

Near the opening of the show, some video footage showed Don Wells driving through what appeared to be the Beech Creek community of Hawkins County, near the Sullivan County line in the Lone Star Road area.

As Wells spoke about June 15, the day Summer was reported missing by her parents, he pulled into an grassy area near Ben Hill Road, where Summer was reported last seen by family members.

Wells said he’d hurried home after Bly phoned him at work to say she couldn’t find Summer, and arrived to see family and neighbors searching the area.

“My heart sunk because I knew she was abducted,” Wells said into the camera. “I knew she was gone.”

McGraw said Summer’s parents, like many people today who want to spread work quickly, turned to social media soon after their daughter was reported missing — and while finding some support, also became targets of bullying, accusations and threats.

The couple agreed to meet with body language analysts in what was presented to them as a way to help prove those online naysayers wrong, McGraw said.

The show’s website describes the two men as “interrogators who have worked with the FBI, law enforcement and the military and have been referred to as a human lie detector.”

The bulk of Thursday’s show was devoted to clips from that meeting, which was videotaped near the family’s home, and some blow-by-blow breakdowns of how McGraw and the two analysts interpreted the couple’s answers and physical reactions.

At one point, a clip showed Wells answering the analysts’ questions about what he thinks happened to Summer with, “She was kidnapped.”

McGraw red-flagged that, saying it was a departure from the earlier-used “abducted.” One of the analysts said “kidnapping” infers a “transactional” event.

Early in the show a clip was shown of Bly breaking down during that interview, crying and complaining she felt interrogated and wanted to stop. She was shown removing the microphone attached to her clothing and leaving the room.

At some point the three weighed in on a clip edited down to Summer’s mother’s answering “no” to three quickly fired questions: Did she hurt Summer; does she know what happened to Summer; and does she know who took her daughter.

McGraw and the analysts, who agree they could easily be mistaken for law enforcement officers, drew attention to and replayed the portion of the tape of Bly saying “no” three times, once for each question. The three men specifically noted the third “no” was said in a lower voice after a slight side-to-side head shake.

Asked later what she thinks should happen to the person who took Summer, Bly paused before saying they should be put away for life. McGraw and the analysts said the pause raised questions for them.

Then it was pointed out she raised one eyebrow while thinking about her answer, which the analysts interpreted as her not being sure what she should say.

Later, McGraw and the analysts went back to the taped scene where Bly broke down crying and left, to reveal what she’d been asked just before she lost her composure.

The two analysts had asked the couple if they thought the “Cornbread Mafia” could be involved in Summer’s disappearance.

Summer’s father said he’d heard of something called the hillbilly mafia, but he and his family had tried to stay clear of them.

McGraw explained to his show’s viewers that “Cornbread Mafia” is a “colloquialism” used to describe a grass-roots crime syndicate in Tennessee.

McGraw and the analysts replayed the video clip and said the mention of the Cornbread Mafia coincided with the beginning of Bly frowning, then beginning to cry, and said it showed her having a strong emotional reaction, which could be anything from fear to guilt to pain. Her actions, they said, were signs of “insulating and running.”

After she said she felt like she was being interrogated and wanted to stop the interview, Wells tried to calm her, saying the men were asking the questions to try and help find Summer.

“It’s not helping me,” she said.

Before the final commercial break, about 50 minutes into the one-hour show, McGraw told viewers the parents in-person appearance was next up. When the break was over, McGraw told the audience “we’re out of time” and said to tune in tomorrow to see whether the couple shows up and if they do, whether Summer’s mother will stay onstage throughout McGraw’s questioning or leave the room.

A preview of Friday’s show, which airs locally at 4 p.m. on WJHL, showed Bly on the “Dr. Phil” set being asked about what happened to Summer.

“I have no idea what happened,” Bly said.

McGraw said he doesn’t believe Bly began looking for Summer or called Wells as quickly as the two-to-three minutes he said she’s said, calling it “inconsistent” with everything he’s seen.

“I do not have a hyper-vigilant mom here,” McGraw said.

McGraw said he wasn’t accusing Bly of wrongdoing, but “it doesn’t add up” and when things don’t add up he has questions.

The show was taped weeks ago. Summer’s parents have been contractually bound not to talk about their appearance on the show prior to its airdates.

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