Efforts to find missing 9-year-old girl Carlie Trent are being heightened. A command post for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations is being established where she vanished last Wednesday in Rogersville, Tennessee, News Channel 11 reports.
A spokesman for the TBI reveals that the girl who went missing from her school after she was signed out by her uncle, Gary Simpson. At this point, the TBI has no real leads in what happened to Carlie.
A news conference regarding the missing Carlie Trent case was held Monday morning at Cumberland Park in Bristol, Virginia. The TBI says that Gary Simpson, 57, did have parental custody of Carlie at one time. Things changed when Carlie’s father regained custody of her and was put back in his care recently.
— WBIR Channel 10 (@wbir) May 9, 2016
Since no record of a criminal history was attached to Simpson, an Amber Alert wasn’t issued immediately. It wasn’t until he was caught lying to school authorities that the endangered child alert was ratcheted up to an Amber Alert.
Investigators have no credible sightings or leads.
“At this point, we have had no credible sightings of any of these individuals or the van in which they are believed to be driving in,” said Josh DeVine, TBI’s public information officer. “We have no specific evidence that she left the state of Tennessee. We have not credible evidence that she is in the state of Tennessee.”
In a tweet by WATE-TV ABC 6 News on Monday, it read that authorities have only received 150 tips in Carlie Trent’s disappearance since Thursday. It stated that there usually far more in cases like this.
Devine said in the press conference that since Gary Simpson is a lifelong resident of Rogersville, they’ll ship most of their sources to that part of the state. The TBI has a command post that will team up with the U.S. Marshal Service in Rogersville. Moreover, intelligence analysts “will be working to coordinate tips [and] the flow of information among our many partners,” said Devine.
The TBI wants Simpson in custody as soon as possible. Circumstances behind the girl’s disappearance leave authorities feeling uneasy.
“We want Carlie Trent back home,” DeVine says. “We have no reason to believe that this was some innocent weekend trip.”
Surveillance footage of Simpson in the Rogersville Walmart was released on Friday. Another video was released this weekend of the pair inside a Save-A-Lot grocery store. Simpson is reportedly driving a white 2002 Dodge conversion van with the license plate 173-GPS. The vehicle has a dark stripe running down the middle and has light brown running boards. Paint is also chipping off the hood.
Carlie’s pediatrician, Dr. Chris Calendine, is offering a $10,000 reward for information on bringing Carlie back to safety, while the U.S. Marshal’s Service are offering a $2,500 reward as well for her safe recovery.
ABC 9 News reports that Carlie Trent is described as four-foot-eight, weighing 85 pounds, and has blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a black and gray tank top shirt with blue jeans.
Gary Simpson is described as five-foot-10, weighing 157 pounds, somewhat bald, and has brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing a brown cap, a dark-colored shirt, and jeans.
— Olivia Bailey (@wcyb_bailey) May 9, 2016
According to ABC 9’s report, DeVine said the investigation learned that Simpson has taken a substantial amount of cash out of his checking account.
The TBI has called around to local and state campgrounds as well as businesses all over to make them aware of what to look for in this missing girl case. TBI News reveals that the agency has reason to believe that Simpson and Trent are evading public view and are most likely in an isolated area — like a campground, state park, or other discreet location.
Anyone with information on Carlie Trent or her suspected abductor, Gary Simpson, is urged to contact Rogersville Police Department at 423-272-7555 or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
[Image via Tennessee Bureau of Investigations]