UPDATED THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2016
Carlie Trent has been found and Gary Simpson is in custody. Read about Carlie’s rescue here.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2016
More than 1,200 tips have poured in to law enforcement since Gary Simpson removed Carlie Trent from school on May 4, 2016 and fled with her. TBI Agents and Intelligence Analysts have worked to coordinate and follow up on tips from across 19 states: Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Missouri, Idaho, Arkansas, California, Alabama, Washington, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Montana, and New York.
Yet none of those tips have led to a credible sighting of Carlie, Simpson or his white van.
TBI released new photos of Simpson wearing a hat, as he often wears one. The photos were taken as he made a withdrawal at a local bank on the same day he took Carlie. DeVine said the agency is not disclosing the amount of money Simpson withdrew, but described it as, “Very limited.”
“This was not an innocent camping trip,” Josh DeVine, TBI public information officer, said sternly in response to what he called disturbing rumors and public comments that Simpson would not hurt Carlie. “This was a crime. If I’ve not been abundantly clear about this, let me do so right now. We realize Gary Simpson is Carlie Trent’s uncle by marriage. But, we have specific, we have credible information that Carlie Trent is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death.”
At least $15,000 in reward money has been offered for information leading to the safe recovery of Carlie. Anyone interested in contributing to the reward can call (423) 923-9100.
Volunteer search efforts are being coordinated by family in a Facebook group entitled Please Help Search for Carlie Trent.
Anyone with who sees Carlie, Simpson or the van should call 911 immediately.
UPDATED TUESDAY MAY 10, 2016
The AMBER Alert for Carlie Trent has been expanded to include the state of Missouri after a reported sighting in Otterville, Mo. on Monday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has now joined in the search.
The TBI released this new video of Simpson and Carlie in the checkout line at a Save-A-Lot Store in Rogersville, Tenn. on May 4, recorded shortly after he took Carlie out of school. The video appears to show the purchase of soda, toilet paper and paper towels.
Simpson and Carlie at the Save-A-Lot on May 4, 2016.
TBI released photos of items purchased by Gary Simpson at a Walmart on May 4, 2016.
UPDATED MONDAY, MAY 9, 2016
Despite following up on more than 500 tips, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says there have been no credible sightings of 9-year-old Carlie Trent, her abductor Gary Simpson, or the white van in which they may be traveling.
With the AMBER Alert going into its sixth day, the search intensified Monday as TBI and the U.S. Marshal’s Service both established Command Posts in Hawkins County, the epicenter of Carlie’s disappearance. Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopters began searching rural areas in the county from the air, but heavy tree cover hindered visibility.
Two store surveillance videos recorded on May 4, 2016 showed Simpson buying camping supplies and non-perishable foods. Investigators believe they may be in an isolated, rural area, cabin, campground or park. They urged the public to remain alert and anyone with a large parcel of rural property to check for anything out of the ordinary.
TBI released a home video of Carlie taken prior to her disappearance.
The United States Marshal’s Service is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Simpson and recovery of Carlie. That is in addition to a $10,000 reward offered by Carlie’s pediatrician Dr. Chris Calendine for information aiding in her safe recovery.
Two new photos of the suspect’s white 2002 Dodge Conversion Van have been released. The Tennessee license plate number is 173 GPS.
In a news conference Monday morning, TBI spokesperson Josh DeVine advised anyone who sees the subjects or the van to call 911 instead of the TBI number to get law enforcement to the scene as quickly as possible.
“We have no information that he’s in east Tennessee,” DeVine said. “However, we have no information that he is not in east Tennessee.”
Simpson is a life-long Rogersville, Tenn. resident and DeVine said it is possible he could still be in the area.
“There is nothing that has happened that can’t be corrected,” DeVine pleaded directly to Simpson at a press conference. “Your family is eager to hear from you. Your family is eager and anxious to have Carlie home. We would encourage you Gary, to do the right thing and bring Carlie home.”
ORIGINAL ARTICLE FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2016
Investigators said today in an AMBER Alert Update that the man accused of kidnapping 9-year-old Carlie Trent might be hiding out of public view in a campground, state park or other isolated area.
An AMBER Alert remains in effect as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Rogersville Police Department continue to search for Carlie Marie Trent and Gary Simpson, 57, of Rogersville, Tenn.
A warrant for kidnapping was issued for Simpson after he allegedly removed Carlie from school the afternoon of Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Simpson is the child’s uncle by marriage and while he was authorized on school forms to pick up Carlie from school, police say he did so on Wednesday under false pretenses and disappeared with the child.
A surveillance video of Simpson at Walmart in Rogersville, Tenn. recorded on May 4, 2016, shortly before he pulled Carlie Trent from school.
Simpson and Carlie shopped at a Save-A-Lot food store after he pulled her from school.
Simpson is a 57-year-old white male, 5’10” tall, weighing 157 lbs. He is balding and has brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing a brown cap, a dark colored shirt and jeans. He was last seen driving a white 2002 Dodge Conversion Van with TN registration 173GPS. The van has a dark stripe down the middle with light gold running boards and paint is chipping off of the hood. He may have switched license plates or vehicles.
“TBI Agents and Intelligence Analysts continue to pursue each and every lead – including digital evidence – in our ongoing effort to locate the child and capture the suspect,” said the agency. “In spite of our best efforts, at this time, there has been no credible sighting of the child, the suspect, or the van in which the two are believed to be riding. This, along with our investigative effort, leads us to believe the individuals may not be in public view and may be located in a campground, state park, or other isolated area.”
Sevier County is only a short 1-hour drive from Rogersville in Hawkins County. Residents and visitors to the area and Great Smoky Mountains National Park should be on the lookout and notify the Rogersville Police Department at 423-272-7555 or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463) with information.