Parents found dead in aftermath of Gatlinburg wildfires

Couple confirmed dead, 3 sons recovering

NASHVILLE, Tn. (WHAS11) -- Sad news for many who were holding onto hope for the Summers’ family.  Three sons are still in a Nashville hospital but are recovering.  But the Sevier County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that their parents, Jon and Janet, who have been missing since Tuesday, were found dead.

A picture perfect family, but now shattered by tragedy.

“It's going to be a hard thing for them to deal with,” said Mark Maxwell, former music teacher.

Maxwell, of Louisville, taught the twins Jared and Wesley and older brother Branson.  He was their music teacher.  He's with the boys at the hospital in Nashville as they continue to recover and deal with the news that their parents who had been missing were found dead.

“I'm sure it's going to be rough tonight for them and from this point forward,” Maxwell said. “I think they felt it.  It just hadn't been confirmed.”

The family was all together celebrating the twins’ birthday in Gatlinburg for a vacation. They were staying in Chalet Village just outside of the town.  When the fires hit, they left, but parents Jon and Janet got separated from the boys in the smoke and flames.  Now Jon's brother, Jim, posted on Facebook saying Jon and Janet's bodies were found not far away in North Chalet Village.

“Unbelievable parents; parents of the year. They're amazing parents. They raised three very strong kids that are amazing people.  An amazing family gone through a tragedy none of us would want to imagine on a vacation that they thought was going to be amazing.  It's hugely sad and those boys need as much prayer as they can possibly get,” Maxwell said.

Jared, one of the twins, has been released from the hospital. Wesley and Branson are still in the hospital but have been taken off their ventilators. 

If you would like to give back to the Summers, click the link below: https://www.youcaring.com/bransonsummersjaredsummersandwesleysummers-704149

 


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