Carlie Trent, 9, who went missing May 4, has reportedly been found and rescued from a remote mountain region in Tennessee.
Her suspected abductor, 57-year-old Gary Simpson, her uncle by marriage, was arrested and placed in police custody.
Police issued an AMBER alert after Carlie was reported missing. On May 4, Simpson allegedly told the girl’s elementary school officials that her father was in a car accident -- which was a lie -- and kidnapped the girl under false pretenses.
Simpson reportedly took off with Carlie in a white van stocked with supplies, including young girls’ panties and a bikini for the 9-year-old that he had bought at Walmart and Save-A-Lot that day. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation received over 2,000 tips regarding Carlie’s whereabouts, according to the New York Daily News.
Carlie was found on the north side of Clinch Mountain near the Hancock County Line on May 12, the Kingsport Times-News notes. Simpson reportedly tried to flee on foot into the woods but was soon apprehended.
There was cheering at the Hawkins County Central Dispatch after Simpson’s arrest was announced.
Police repeated over the air, "She is 10-4." The missing girl has been rushed to a hospital for a medical examination. Authorities said she appeared to be in good health.
Two private citizens had reportedly located Simpson and Carlie and reported it to police.
The reward for finding Carlie was up to $40,000 before police found Simpson. The girl’s uncle had reportedly been placed on Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top Ten Most Wanted list.
James Trent, the girl’s father, was thrilled after hearing that his daughter was found.
“I was still positive these guys were going to find her because they were relentless in their search,” James told the Times-News. “It was getting worse and days were passing, but I still had confidence she was coming home. When I get to see her, I’ll be 100 percent.”
Simpson was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping; he may face additional charges after the investigation is complete.