Amber Alert issued for Hawkins girl taken from school Wednesday afternoon

Jeff Bobo • May 5, 2016 at 8:25 AM

Editor’s Note: This story has gained traction over the last few days so the Times-News wanted to clear some things up. This story is a year old. Carlie Trent was found safe and her uncle Gary Simpson was sentenced to 25 years for the kidnapping and sexual battery


Update: Shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday an Amber Alert was issued for Carlie Marie Trent. Warrants have been issued for Gary Simpson for Kidnapping.

ROGERSVILLE - Police said Thursday morning they don't know why an uncle by marriage who has helped raise 9-year-old Carlie Trent, picked the girl up from her school in Rogersville Wednesday afternoon under false pretenses.

As of Thursday morning no one has reported seeing the two since they left the school around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Gary Simpson, 57, was on Hawkins Elementary's list of people with permission to pick up Carlie from school.

That’s why authorities are puzzled as to why Simpson lied to school officials shortly before 1:30 p.m.Wednesday, stating he was there to get Carlie because her father had been in an accident.

Carlie was reported missing by her family when she didn't get off the school bus Wednesday afternoon, and video surveillance from the school reportedly confirmed that Simpson had removed her from school.

The whole situation has police baffled.

Simpson has no criminal history. He has lived in a rural area near Rogersville his entire life, and been married to the same woman, Carlie's father's sister, for more than 30 years.

Simpson, his wife, and disabled son live next door to the home occupied by Carlie, her father and 7-year-old sister. Carlie’s mother doesn’t have custody.

Family members have also told police this situation comes as a complete surprise, and they don’t understand Simpson’s motives.

Simpson and his wife have helped raise Carlie, and at one point Simpson and his wife had temporary custody.

Family members reportedly told police there has neve been any indication of abuse of any sort on the part of Simpson toward either child.

Simpson is unemployed and serves as caretaker for his adult disabled son.

Around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday a East Tennessee Endangered Child Alert has been issued by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on behalf of the Rogersville Police Department for Carlie Trent.

Carlie is 4'8" tall, weighs 75 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

She was last seen wearing a black and gray tank top shirt with blue jeans.

Simpson is a 57 year-old white male, 5'10" tall, weighing 157 pounds.

He is balding and has brown hair and eyes.

He was last seen wearing a brown cap, 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.

Police said Thursday morning they have no idea where Simpson and Carlie are. Attempts to locate him using his phone have been unsuccessful.

If you have seen the Carlie, Simpson or his vehicle, please call the Rogersville Police Department at 423-272-7555 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.


Simpson gets 25 years in Carlie Trent kidnapping case (April 17, 2017)

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