On Tuesday, Tennessee authorities stated that 9-year-old Carlie Trent, reportedly abducted by her uncle shortly after he lost custody of her, is in “imminent danger.” An Amber Alert is still in effect for the missing girl.
Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the Cooper County Sheriff’s Office released a statement that Carlie, missing from Rogersville, Tennessee, is more than likely with her uncle Gary Simpson, 57. Detectives believe her uncle kidnapped her shortly after he lost a custody battle over the child. The pair “were possibly sighted” in Otterville, Missouri, where local authorities put out an issuance on the young girl. Josh Devine, spokesperson with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said the following.
“Based on tips and leads, local authorities in that state have requested an issuance.”
Tuesday marks the 6th day that Carlie has been missing. She was signed out of school by Simpson last week, her uncle by marriage, but it was so soon after he’d lost custody of the girl to her biological father, that the school officials hadn’t yet been notified. Prior to getting her from school, Simpson was seen on surveillance footage purchasing camping supplies and a girl’s bathing suit, underwear, lip gloss, clothing, and nail polish at a local Tennessee Walmart.
After picking Carlie up from school, Simpson stopped in at a Save-A-Lot store, close to Rogersville. The girl appeared calm while her uncle shopped for soda, toilet paper, and other items. Devine thinks that they are now in an isolated area after learning that Simpson bought camping supplies. Amber Alert tips are also unusually low, which may indicate that Simpson is making sure to keep himself and Carlie out of site. According to Devine,
“There’s every indication that he intended to go out of sight. We believe this girl is in imminent danger.”
Simpson’s wife, Linda, said that she’s afraid for Carlie’s safety. She indicated that the only reason someone would kidnap a child would be for “something bad.”
“I’m very worried. I’m very concerned. I think she’s in a lot of danger. I don’t see why you would kidnap a kid if you weren’t up to something bad.”
Carlie is described as a white female, 4 feet 8 inches tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She weighs around 75 pounds. Simpson is described as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 157 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He’s completely bald on the top of his head, but may be wearing a cap to cover it up. Authorities believe that Simpson is driving a white 2002 Dodge conversion van, with Tennessee license plates, 173GPS. The van has chipped paint on the hood, a dark stripe down the middle, and light gold running boards.
Today, more tips came in that Simpson may be traveling with Carlie to Idaho Falls, Idaho, possibly along Highway 15 and Interstate 84. Everyone in the area is urged to keep a lookout.
“Law enforcement received multiple new leads that suggest the child, abductor and/or vehicle may be traveling on Interstate 84 and Highway 15 and may have been spotted in the Mountain Home and Idaho Falls, Idaho areas.”
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is offering a $25,000 reward for the safe return of Carlie Trent and for information that helps authorities apprehend Simpson. Anyone with any information should call 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463).
[Photo by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation]