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Carlie Trent: ‘Missing Tennessee girl’ found alive, uncle in custody
Carlie Trent: Missing Tennessee girl found alive, uncle in custody

Carlie Trent: ‘Missing Tennessee girl’ found alive, uncle in custody

Carlie Trent, the 9-year-old Tennessee girl who was allegedly kidnapped by her uncle last week, has been found after two local residents discovered her and her uncle on their property, officials said Thursday.

And the uncle, 57-year-old Gary Simpson, is in police custody.

TBI agents said residents Donnie Lawson and Stewart Franklin went searching for her on Lawson’s property.

When they spotted Simpson, one of them held him at gunpoint while the other called 911.

The grandson of Ethan Lawson spoke with Channel 4. He says he was at his grandfather’s home when Carlie was found.

“I said, ‘Oh my gosh. My papa found Carlie!’ It’s a miracle from God and he was just at the right place at the right time I guess,” said Ethan Lawson.

According to WCYB in Johnson City, Simpson was taken into custody near Gravelly Valley Road in Hawkins County.

Surveillance video showed the two at a Save-A-Lot grocery store in the same county last Wednesday.

Carlie’s father, James Trent, released a statement after his daughter was found.

“I was still positive these guys were going to find her because they were relentless in their search,” he said.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, TBI Director Mark Gwyn said Donnie Lawson and Stewart Franklin spotted Simpson and Carlie while riding ATVs in a remote area of Lawson’s property. One of them held Simpson at gunpoint while another called 911.

TBI agent Margie Quin said they had received about 1,850 tips since the Amber Alert was issued last week.

“When you see it on Facebook, when you see it on Twitter, when you see it on your newscast at night, I think the public was very interested in bringing Carlie home,” Quin said.

Simpson will be charged with aggravated kidnapping, among other charges. Gwyn said Simpson will be charged to the fullest extent of the law.

Rogersville Police Chief Doug Nelson said Carlie was taken to a hospital as a precaution and seemed to be in good spirits. He said she was holding a teddy bear when she was found.

The police chief added the TBI is processing Simpson’s van.

The TBI said earlier Thursday afternoon its agents were headed to Hawkins County to investigate a possible sighting of Carlie.

Carlie, 9, had been missing since last Wednesday. Earlier Thursday, the TBI added Simpson to its Top 10 Most Wanted List.

Simpson is accused of taking Carlie from her school in Rogersville on May 4.


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