Carlie Trent Back With Her Family a Day After She Was Rescued

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
May 14, 2016 Updated: May 14, 2016

Carlie Trent, the 9-year-old girl from Tennessee who went missing for more than a week, was sent home on Friday.

Her alleged kidnapper, Gary Simpson, who is her uncle, remains in custody.

Trent was reacquainted with her family in rural Hawkins County, reported NBC affiliate WCYB.

When asked by a WCYB reporter what she wanted to do first, she said didn’t know. After the interview, she was riding a bike and playing basketball.

Carlie also said, talking about her bunny, “He’s mostly my rabbit.”

Authorities say Simpson, 57, was captured by two men who held him at gunpoint until law enforcement could arrive.

Carlie’s aunt, Linda Simpson, told the station on Friday that the family will give the little girl some space to recover from the ordeal.

“We just have to let Carlie do as she wants to,” she said. “We’re going to love her and support her.”

The girl, according to NBC affiliate 11 Alive, was seen “playing and giggling” with her sister at the family’s home in Rogersville. They were spotted playing on a trampoline. She returned home on Friday after spending Thursday night at a hospital in Johnson City.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn told a news conference that Donnie Lawson and Baptist minister Stewart Franklin found Simpson and Carlie on Thursday in a remote wooded area only accessible by all-terrain vehicles. He said they found them in Hawkins County, the same rural part of eastern Tennessee where Carlie disappeared. Gwyn said Franklin held Simpson at gunpoint while Lawson called the police.

Officials have not determined why Simpson abducted Carlie from school more than a week ago. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Gwyn says there are no indications that Carlie was harmed, but she is being taken to a hospital as a precaution to be examined.

Simpson has been charged with especially aggravated kidnapping but may face other charges as the investigation goes on, NBC reported.

“Carlie is safe tonight because of an entire community pulling together and working with law enforcement to bring her home,” Gwyn said on Thursday after the two were discovered. “That God she was rescued safe.”

Franklin and Lawson said they had checked the property owned by one of them a day before but decided to go back there.

“Every day, walking miles and miles, [we were] checking many, many cabins,” Franklin said, according to People magazine. “Each one of us has been praying, you know, every day to help us to find this little girl and so finally, you know, answered prayers.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.