A farmer and a preacher were being hailed as heroes after they found Carlie Trent, the 9-year-old Tennessee girl who was kidnapped by her uncle last Wednesday.
According to the Tribune Media Wire (via KDAF-TV), farmer Donnie Lawson and Baptist pastor Roger Carpenter found the girl Thursday afternoon in a remote area on Lawson’s farm after authorities issued a call for landowners to search remote areas and barns on their property.
The two found the girl with her uncle, 57-year-old Gary Simpson, who had abducted her from her school by telling officials that her father had been in an accident. Lawson and Carpenter held Simpson at gunpoint until police could arrive at the rugged, mountainous area of Hawkins County where she was found.
The manhunt for Simpson, who abducted Trent from her Rogersville, Tennessee elementary school, has been intense.
The sick case got even more disturbing when it was revealed that Simpson visited a local Walmart before he abducted Trent.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, his purchases included “girls’ khaki pants, two shades of lipstick, two shades of nail polish, a pink folding camp chair, a purple child-sized nightgown, a bikini and a Fruit of the Loom brand girls’ multipack of underwear.”
Surveillance footage of Simpson in the Walmart:
“It is absolutely paramount that we do everything in our capability to bring this girl home as soon as possible,” Tennessee Bureau of Investigations spokesman Josh DeVine said a news briefing Wednesday. “I am not in a position, however, to really speak to some of the specifics that we’ve been able to gather during the course of our investigation.
“But suffice it to say, we believe this girl to be in imminent danger.”
Carlie Trent’s father, James Trent, credits the TBI — as well as the farmer and preacher duo of Lawson and Carpenter — for finding his daughter.
“I was still positive these guys were going to find her because they were relentless in their search,” Trent said in a statement, according to WSMV-TV.
Simpson will be charged with aggravated kidnapping, among other things. Let’s hope he stays in jail for a long, long time.
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