Cops: Here's What Uncle Bought Before Kidnapping 9-Year-Old
'If he's capable of kidnapping a child he's capable of anything'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2016 3:33 PM CDT
Carlie Marie Trent   (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation via the Rogersville Police Department via AP)
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(Newser) – Authorities are combing through more than 1,200 leads in a desperate search for a 9-year-old girl they say was abducted by her uncle May 4, WATE reports. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, 57-year-old Gary Simpson picked Carlie Trent up from her Tennessee school, telling staff her father had been in an accident. Shortly before, he purchased a child's nightgown, bikini, girls' underwear, lipstick, and nail polish at an area Walmart. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has pictures of those items. Carlie's mother Shannon Trent tells People she felt "sick to my stomach" when she heard about those purchases. "I don't know what he's done to her," she says. "I don't think he would hurt her, but if he's capable of kidnapping a child he's capable of anything."

Authorities believe Carlie is in "imminent danger." Simpson also purchased camping supplies and nonperishable groceries, and authorities think he may be hiding with Carlie in an isolated area. The TBI says there have been rumors online that Simpson is trying to protect Carlie, but it says that couldn't be further from the truth. "This was not an innocent camping trip, this was a crime," a spokesperson tells WATE. Simpson, Carlie's uncle by marriage, and his wife once had custody of Carlie, but her father James Trent had custody at the time of her abduction. Shannon Trent, who hasn't had custody of Carlie in two years, says she "always had a bad feeling" about Simpson. "I should have stuck with my gut," she tells People. (This boy's summer with his dad turned into his kidnapping.)