The Cooper County Sheriff’s Department has issued an AMBER Alert for a 9-year-old girl abducted from Tennessee last week, but an investigation in the Otterville area suggests the van sighting may not be the suspect’s van.
Nine-year-old Carlie Trent was reported missing after she was reportedly abducted Wednesday, May 4 by her uncle, Gary L. Simpson, 57, in Rogersville, Tennessee.
According to the Cooper County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, the department received a report Tuesday morning regarding a Tennessee AMBER Alert, with the person reporting a possible sighting Monday on the Lamine River near Clifton City.
“Responding units saturated the area and commenced a search. Boats and aircraft were utilized during the search as well as ground units,” the Facebook post states. “As a result of the search contact was made with area residents who reported seeing a van matching the description of the Amber Alert van. Further investigation revealed the van was not the van described in the initial TN Amber Alert.”
Cooper County Sheriff’s Department officials reported no other information has developed regarding the sighting, and officials continue to investigate to determine if the sighting may have been local residents.
Anyone with any information should call the Cooper County Sheriff’s Department at 660-882-2614.
A Tennessee AMBER Alert for Trent is still active. Trent is described as a white female with blond hair and blue eyes, 4-foot 8-inches tall and weighing 75 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black-and-gray tank top and jeans.
Simpson is described as a white male with brown, balding hair and brown eyes, 5-feet 10-inches tall and weighing 157 pounds. He wears glasses and was last seen wearing a brown cap, a dark-colored shirt and jeans.
The suspect vehicle is described as a white 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 van with Tennessee license plate 173GPS. The van has a dark stripe down the middle with light gold running boards and the paint is chipping off the hood.
According to the Associated Press, Tennessee authorities say Trent was signed out of school under false pretenses Wednesday, May 4 by her non-custodial uncle, Simpson. A $12,500 reward has been offered for information in the case.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, TBI agents have worked to verify more than 500 tips, but there have been no credible sightings of Trent, Simpson or the van.
“Though their whereabouts are currently unknown, investigative efforts suggest they may be out of public view and in an isolated area, such as a campground or park,” the TBI website states.
Surveillance video of Simpson and Trent released by the TBI is on the TBI’s YouTube channel. The TBI website also has photos of items purchased by Simpson for Trent at a Tennessee Walmart prior to her abduction.
If anyone has information regarding this incident, they are encouraged to contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.