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Video shows suspect in kidnapping of 9-year-old girl buying camping gear

Nick Shepherd • Updated May 6, 2016 at 6:08 PM

UPDATE: The U.S. Marshals Service is now offering a $2,500 reward for the safe return of Carlie Marie Trent and for information leading to the apprehension of Gary Simpson.

ROGERSVILLE — Police are still on the hunt for a Hawkins County girl who was taken by her uncle and believe the pair may be located in a campground, state park or other isolated area.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Friday the uncle purchased camping gear from the Rogersville Walmart prior to picking up Carlie Trent from her school in Rogersville Wednesday afternoon.

Gary Simpson removed the 9-year-old from Hawkins Elementary School and told school officials her father had been in a car accident. No one has seen the pair since.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber alert for East and Middle Tennessee Thursday on behalf of the Rogersville Police Department.

According to a press release, TBI agents and intelligence analysts are pursuing every lead to locate Carlie and Simpson. The investigation has uncovered some relevant information, such as the Walmart surveillance video of Simpson.

But there has been no credible sighting of the girl, Simpson, who is her uncle by marriage, or Simpson’s van, leading the TBI to believe the two are out of public view and may be in a campground, park or other isolated location.

Simpson, 57, is married to the sister of Carlie’s father. He lived next to Carlie and helped raise her and her sister, and had temporary custody of the girls at one point. Simpson has no criminal history, and officials say there has never been any indication that he abused either girl in any way.

He was a trusted member of the family, according to Carlie’s dad, and was on the list of people allowed to pick her up from school.

Carlie is 4 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 75 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a black and gray tank top with blue jeans.

Simpson is 5 feet 10 inches 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 Tennessee registration 173GPS. The van has a dark stripe down the middle with light gold running boards and paint chipping off the hood.

Warrants have been issued for Simpson’s arrest for kidnapping.

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

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