ROGERSVILLE, Tn. -- A man who disappeared last week with his 9-year-old niece recently lost custody of her, authorities said Monday.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh Devine told reporters in East Tennessee that Carlie Marie Trent of Rogersville had been placed back into her father’s custody so recently that he hadn’t yet notified school officials.
Tennessee investigators released new videos showing nine-year-old Carlie Trent who was allegedly abducted by her non-biological uncle last Wednesday.
The first video shows the missing girl using her dad’s cell phone, and the other videos show Carlie and her uncle, Gary Simpson, in a Save A Lot in Rogersville, Tennessee.
Surveillance cameras captured video of Carlie and Simpson after he picked the girl up from school last Wednesday claiming her dad had been in an accident.
“It wasn’t like she looked like she was under any stress or any duress,” Mark Baughman, a retired member of law enforcement with 35 years of experience investigating cases like this one, said.
Baughman said it’s clear from the videos that Carlie felt comfortable with her uncle.
According to other news outlets, Simpson had custody of Carlie and her sister at one time, when their father was behind bars.
“He may have told her a story that was plausible to her that was easy to believe,” Baughman said.
Yet, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation now says the girl is in imminent danger, and Clinical Psychologist Dr. David Israel said he thinks so too.
“My hunch is he’s got some problems…he’s got an obsession with her,” Israel said.
We showed Israel images of photos released by the TBI showing items Simpson bought before picking Carlie up from school. They include children’s underwear, a girl’s bathing suit, lipstick, and nail polish.
“When you have an adult male who is buying clothes for a young girl, that’s a suggestion that we’ve got some pathology here, that we have a troubled sick man,” Israel said.
Authorities suspect the two might be in an isolated area, including private campgrounds in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky.
They are believed to be traveling in a white van with a Tennessee license plate that reads 173GPS.
Information obtained on May 10, indicates that Carlie and Gary Simpson were possibly sighted in the Otterville, Missouri area on May 9, according to MissingKids.org. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have not confirmed if the possible sighting is credible.