It’s not unusual for an uncle to pick up a child from school, particularly when the uncle tells the school that the girl’s parents had been in a terrible accident. Gary Simpson, Carlie Trent’s uncle by marriage, passed off this story to school officials as part of his abduction plan to take the little girl for his own.
Pleas came from law enforcement and Carlie’s family, including Simpson’s wife, the sister of the girl’s father, who lived just next door. The family knew Simpson was rather “obsessed” with Carlie, but aside from polite waves and general family interaction, they could not have foreseen this drastic act.
During the eight day abduction, Gary Simpson and Carlie Trent were seen via surveillance video, shopping at Save-A-Lot in Hawkins County, Tennessee. If one was unaware of the truth, they could be mistaken for any other father and daughter doing their weekly grocery run.
Thanks to an outpouring of support from volunteers and an Amber Alert, Carlie was rescued and brought home after eight days with her uncle by marriage, whom has been charged with kidnapping. Three days after her enthusiastic welcome home, she returned to school.