TBI Director Mark Gwyn issues statement after 9-year-old Carlie Trent was found safe

HAWKINSVILLE, Tenn. (WDEF) – Carlie Trent was found, safe, Thursday afternoon, a week after an AMBER Alert was issued after her uncle Gary Simpson kidnapped her from school. Two Hawkins County men spotted Carlie and Simpson while riding on their property on Hawkins County, and contacted authorities.

Here is the statement TBI Director Mark Gwyn delivered upon learning of Carlie’s safe return:

“I am very pleased and relieved tonight to announce that the AMBER Alert issued for the Rogersville Police Department on May 5th, for Carlie Trent, has been successfully resolved. Carlie is safe tonight because an entire community pulled together and worked with law enforcement to bring her home. But, our work isn’t done. In the coming days and weeks, we will work with District Attorney Dan Armstrong to ensure that Gary Simpson is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Gary Simpson is charged with Especially Aggravated Kidnapping, but officers and agents will pursue additional charges if warranted.

As part of the Child Abduction Response Protocol, strategies were put in place to aid in bringing Carlie home. One of those techniques is to ask the public to check their property, barns, outbuildings and four-wheel trails. Two conscientious Hawkins County residents did just that. Donnie Lawson and Stewart Franklin found Gary Simpson and Carlie Trent deep into their property along trails only accessible by four wheel drive. One man held Gary Simpson at gun point while the other called 911 and rescued Carlie. We are sure that the family of Carlie Trent sends its heart-felt thanks for their actions today.

We would like to thank the Rogersville Police Department, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Marshal’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol for their assistance in this case.”

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