Missing 9-Year-Old Carlie Trent Found Safe; Alleged Kidnapper in Custody
Carlie Trent, the missing 9-year-old girl who was allegedly kidnapped by her uncle last week, has been found safe, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations confirms.
Carlie was found in the Clinch Mountain area, about 20 miles from where she was allegedly kidnapped, authorities told local media.
On May 4, Gary Simpson, Carlie’s uncle by marriage who, along with his wife, had once had custody of Carlie and her 7-year-old sister, picked her up from her Rogersville elementary school. Simpson and Carlie did not return home later that afternoon and the following day an Amber Alert was issued in Tennessee.
Simpson, 57, previously had custody of Carlie and her younger sister until recently, when they were returned to their biological father, James Trent, TBI spokesman Josh DeVine told PEOPLE.
Simpson allegedly told teachers at the school that Carlie’s dad had been in a car accident and he had been sent to get her. DeVine says this was a lie and Simpson had no authority to pick up Carlie that afternoon.
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At a Thursday morning press conference, DeVine said, “We have specific and credible information that Carlie Trent is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.”
As of Thursday, Simpson was wanted on aggravated kidnapping charges.
James Trent, Carlie’s father, told PEOPLE on Thursday before Carlie was found, “It’s hard to tell what she has been told and what kind of hurt and pain she’s going through each day.”
He had previously said in published reports that Simpson was “obsessed” with Carlie. He told PEOPLE on Thursday that Simpson “was jealous of the attention [Carlie] gave me all the time. Nobody could play with her in peace while he was there. Some way or another he would get himself into the middle.”