TN AMBER ALERT: GIRL FOUND SAFE, Uncle in custody

Carlie Trent, Gary Simpson
Carlie Trent, Gary Simpson

HAWKINS CO., N.C. – TBI says Carlie Trent has been found safe and her uncle is in custody after two men found the girl and her uncle deep in a wooded area.

The two men, one a Baptist minister held Gary Simpson at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived.

They say the property they were on was only accessible by ATV.

They were found off of Highway 70 North in the Clinch Valley area, near the Hancock County line in a road that was a remote area, according to WJHL.

The Hawkins County sheriff says Carlie is on the way to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Carlie’s family issued the following statement just a few minutes ago saying, “We are so happy that God answered prayers today and Carlie is home safe.”

The two men that found her are eligible for the rewards. TBI says they asked residents to check their property and is why Carlie was found.

Just after 5:15 p.m., the AMBER Alert was cancelled for Carlie Trent in Rogersville.

They say Gary Simpson will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

He is charged with Specially Aggravated Kidnapping.

We are working to get more details.

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ROGERSVILLE (WATE) – Gary Simpson has been added to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top Ten Most Wanted List. Simpson is wanted by the Rogersville Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for Especially Aggravated Kidnapping.

It’s been over a week since Carlie Trent was in school. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation asked the public to trust them that Carlie Trent is in danger.

The 9-year-old was removed from school Wednesday by her uncle by marriage, Gary Simpson, 57, under false pretenses, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). Police say Gary Simpson told school officials Trent’s father was in a car accident and she may not be in school on Thursday as well.

They said Gary Simpson has no custodial rights to Carlie Trent and their whereabouts are unknown. They were last seen in a white 2002 Dodge Conversion van with license plate 173-GPS.

A reward of at least $41,000 is being offered by several organizations and individuals for information leading to Carlie’s safe return. More than 1,700 tips have been called in so far from 19 states.

TBI spokesman Josh DeVine says air searches were performed late Wednesday night into Thursday morning and he is asking people to double check their barns and property, not just for Carlie Trent and Gary Simpson, but for signs they may have been there.

DeVine said Wednesday morning he has heard some disturbing rumors on social media that if Simpson was trying to protect Carlie Trent. He said he has seen tweets that asked “If Simpson didn’t harm Carlie when he had custody, why would he do it now,” or that he was trying to “protect her” from something.

“If we have not been abundantly clear about this since the get-go, let me take the opportunity to say this as clearly as I possibly can. This was not an innocent camping trip, this was a crime,” said DeVine. “We realize Gary Simpson is Carlie Trent’s uncle by marriage, but we have specific, we have credible information that Carlie Trent is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death. That is why we issued an Amber Alert.”

DeVine said that is the reason Amber Alerts are issued very judiciously. He said they are reserved for the most serious of cases and this is one of them.

“We need the public to be on the lookout, we need the public to trust us. When we say this child is in danger, we’re not joking around. It is too serious. This is a 9-year-old girl on the line and you had better believe we’re doing anything and everything to bring this girl home.”

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