An update in the missing Carlie Trent case reveals that a surge in tips have bombarded investigators. The family released a video of the missing Tennessee girl.
Local 8 News reports that the investigation is still underway, but leads are scarce. In spite of that, there’s far more than the previous 150 tips law enforcement received since last Thursday. There are now 500 tips detectives are wading through.
The missing Tennessee girl disappeared in Rogersville after her uncle, Gary Simpson, signed her out of school under false pretenses last Wednesday. An Endangered Child Alert was initially issued then upgraded to an Amber Alert. The alert was issued in Middle and East Tennessee. If sufficient information emerges that Simpson and Trent are seen outside this area, the Amber Alert will expand into Virginia and North Carolina, according to TBI spokesman Josh DeVine.
In a conference that converged late Monday night, DeVine sent a message directly to Gary Simpson.
“Come home. There is nothing you’ve done that can’t be fixed. Your family wants to see Carlie. So bring Carlie home,” DeVine said.
Authorities report that there’s no criminal history on Simpson’s record.
Here’s the family video of Carlie Trent.
Carlie is seen talking in the home video about activities that unfolded throughout her day. It was probably recorded last fall because she talks about her younger sister getting a flu shot that day. The missing girl adds that her sister is a first-grader and that she’s a third-grader. Going by the photos, this video of Carlie is recent enough for the public to recognize her if they see her.
DeVine said during the Monday night conference that they have no indication Trent’s abductor had reason to harm her when he took from school.
“We have no indication that Gary made any immediate threats on this child’s well-being when he picked her up from school Wednesday,” DeVine said. “We do know he was not truthful when he did so. He told the school on Wednesday afternoon that she wouldn’t be there Thursday. But you know what? She didn’t show up for school Friday and she hasn’t showed up today. So you better believe that only adds to the amount of concern we have at TBI.”
— TBI (@TBInvestigation) May 7, 2016
There’s an outpouring of support to find the missing girl. The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a $2,500 reward for the safe return of Carlie in addition to a $10,000 offered by her pediatrician, Dr. Chris Calendine. Nashville musician Trey Healy also put $5,000 towards the reward.
Gary Simpson had parental custody of Carlie before, but a judge allowed Carlie’s biological father to regain custodial rights. School records hadn’t been updated, which mitigated Simpson’s efforts to remove her from the facility.
U.S. Marshalls and TBI agents have set up a command post in Rogersville. DeVine explained that the location was chosen because that’s where Simpson and Carlie have been life-long residents. Intelligence analysts there will evaluate tips they receive.
No concrete leads in the missing Carlie Trent case have surfaced. The TBI believes Simpson might have chosen an isolated area to hide out, such as a campground, state park, or other inconspicuous location.
James Trent, Carlie’s biological father, told NBC’s Dateline via NBC News that Simpson sometimes helps him out by picking up Carlie from school for events or appointments if he can’t get out of work. He noted there was no reason for him to collect her last Wednesday, however.
“I have to be strong for my other daughter and for Carlie,” Trent told Dateline. “But as the days keep passing, it’s getting harder.”
Surveillance video also shows Gary Simpson and Carlie Trent at a Save-A-Lot store after leaving the school. Investigators had also discovered that a substantial amount of cash had been taken out of Simpson’s account before he picked up Carlie.
Simpson was last known to be driving a white 2002 Dodge Conversion Van with Tennessee registration 173GPS. The vehicle also has light-brown running boards with paint chipping off the hood.
James Trent says he has no idea what Gary is telling his daughter, but he doesn’t doubt she wants to get home.
“I want her to know that she’s loved. That she shouldn’t believe whatever he’s telling her,” Trent said. “She should get out, run, scream, do whatever she has to do to get away, because there are so many people looking for her. We’ll never give up.”
— WBIR Channel 10 (@wbir) May 10, 2016
The missing Tennessee girl is four feet eight inches tall, weighs 75 pounds, and has blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a black-and-grey tank top with blue jeans.
Gary Simpson was last seen wearing a brown cap, dark colored shirt, and blue jeans.
Anyone with any information regarding Carlie Trent or Gary Simpson is urged to call the Rogersville Police Department at (423) 272-7555 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND FREE.
[Image via Tennessee Bureau of Investigations]