ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Latest on the abduction of a 9-year-old girl in East Tennessee (all times local):
Authorities say the 57-year-old man accused of abducting his niece from school more than a week ago was captured by two men who held him at gunpoint until law enforcement could arrive.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn told a news conference that Donnie Lawson and Baptist minister Roger Carpenter found Gary Simpson and Carlie Marie Trent 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 East Tennessee where Carlie disappeared. Gwyn said Carpenter held Simpson at gunpoint while Lawson called the police.
Gwyn called the men heroes for deciding to check the remote area after authorities had issued a call for help finding Carlie. Gwyn says there are no indications that Carlie was harmed, but she is being taken to a hospital as a precaution to be examined.
A 9-year-old girl abducted more than a week ago when her uncle signed her out of school has been found safe.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation posted on its official Twitter page that Carlie Marie Trent was found safe Thursday and 57-year-old Gary Simpson had been arrested. Earlier Thursday, the TBI had added the uncle to its Top 10 Most Wanted list, and officials warned that the girl was in imminent danger.
Tennessee law enforcement officials say they believe that a 9-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted by her uncle is in “imminent danger.” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine would not give details about why investigators believe Carlie Marie Trent could be in trouble.
TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said Thursday that the bureau has added 57-year-old Gary Simpson to its Top 10 Most Wanted list and that an arrest warrant has been issued for him on a charge of especially aggravated kidnapping.
Police say they believe Simpson took the girl out of school on May 4, and may have taken her to a campground or remote area.
The uncle is believed to be in a white van with Tennessee license plate 173GPS.