ROGERSVILLE (WATE) – Carlie Trent has been found safe after an eight-day Amber Alert and her uncle by marriage Gary Simpson has been taken into custody.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says citizens were checking property in the Clinch Valley area, as the TBI had asked people to do, when they found Carlie and her uncle on a trail off Gravely Valley Road only accessible by a four-wheeler.
Roger Carpenter told WATE 6 On Your Side he, Stewart Franklin, Larry “Hambone” Hamblen and Donnie Lawson had been searching for Carlie for the past three days.
Franklin, while riding an ATV, found Carlie carrying a teddy bear. Carpenter said the property belongs to Lawson’s brother. TBI said one of them held Simpson at gunpoint while the other rescued Carlie and called 911. Carpenter said none of the men involved were ministers, despite what TBI said during their media conference.
“My dad called me and said someone shouted, ‘We got the girl’ and the good Lord above me told me it was my two buddies,” Carpenter said.
Those buddies had been out since daylight, hunting for Gary Simpson.
“A lot of hitting the bushes, digging, praying, a lot of heartache, a lot of disappointment in this but thank God it turned out good,” said Carpenter.
They had checked the area before, but didn’t find any tracks.
“I have two daughters and when I’ve seen in the past, in the past I’ve seen children abducted and I’ve wanted to help and I felt like I wanted to try and help this time,” said Franklin.