An update in the missing Carlie Trent case reveals that the 9-year-old girl could be with her uncle in West Virginia.
The missing Tennessee girl and her 57-year-old uncle, Gary Simpson, are believed to be in Shenandoah Valley, according to a dispatch from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, via WHSV 3 News.
— WBIR Channel 10 (@wbir) May 11, 2016
Simpson signed Carlie out of school in Rogersville, Tennessee, last Wednesday and neither has been seen since. Simpson is Carlie’s uncle by marriage and once had parental custody of her, but a judge restored her father’s custodial rights and the school wasn’t made aware of the change.
Gary Simpson picked his niece up in a 2002 Dodge conversion van with a dark RV-style stripe down the middle and light-gold running boards. Paint is chipping off the hood. The vehicle has the Tennessee license plate 173 GPS.
Carlie Trent is four-feet, eight-inches tall and weighs 75 pounds. She is blonde with blue eyes. She was last seen wearing jeans and a black-and-gray tank top.
Gary Simpson is described as five-feet, 10-inches tall and weighs 157 pounds. He has brown eyes and balding brown hair. He was last seen wearing jeans, a dark shirt, and a brown cap.
Local 8 Now reports that Tennessee Bureau of Investigations spokesman Josh DeVine is urging the public to “trust” authorities when they say Carlie’s life is in danger.
“We need the public to trust us. When we say this child is in danger, we absolutely mean it,” DeVine said. “We are not joking around with this. It’s too serious. This is a 9-year-old girl on the line, and you better believe we’re doing anything and everything to bring this girl home.”
URGENT: Amber Alert Continues For Carlie Trent; Suspect Bought Clothing & Camping Supplies From TN. Walmart
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 10, 2016
Carlie’s parents weren’t aware she was missing until she didn’t come home from school. Her father, James Trent, has been talking to the media about the disappearance of his daughter. He said that Simpson is “obsessed” with his daughter in such a way that he’s always trying to be close by.
“He had access to her every day he was obsessed with her he wanted her and he wanted her all to himself, that’s a scary thing to think about,” Trent told Local 8 Now.
Trent said Simpson had married his sister then they moved next door to the family.
Surveillance videos released from Walmart and Save-A-Lot show Simpson purchasing camping supplies. He’d also bought various items for Carlie Trent — including a nightgown, bikini, and lipstick. It’s clear to authorities that the man had every intention of leaving with Carlie.
Footage below is Simpson unloading a shopping cart at Save-A-Lot as Carlie stands at the head of it.
The next video is of Trent making purchases at a checkout stand in Walmart.
Investigators have reason to suspect that Simpson has chosen an isolated location to hide out. This could be a campsite or state park. An Amber alert around parts of Tennessee is now spreading since Trent and her uncle have possibly moved on to West Virginia. They were also suspected to have been in Missouri as well. One report writes that up to 11 states have called in tips to police.
The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a $2,500 reward for the safe return of Carlie in addition to a $10,000 reward offered by her pediatrician, Dr. Chris Calendine. Nashville musician Trey Healy also put $5,000 towards the reward.
Additional information can be found at this link.
If you have any information regarding Carlie Trent and Gary Simpson, you’re urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND FREE. If anyone spots the van — or sees Carlie and Simpson — call 911.
[Photo via Tennessee Bureau of Investigations]