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Carlie Trent's Rescuer: God 'Gave Us a Clue'

She was found near barn searchers skipped a day earlier
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2016 10:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Stuart Franklin says it was little more than luck that led him to discover 9-year-old Carlie Trent and the uncle who allegedly kidnapped her on private property on Tennessee's Clinch Mountain Thursday. "There's a lot of abandoned cabins in the area and it's a lot of wilderness in here, so [we] just wanted to be sure and check the area out," he tells CBS News. Franklin was among a group of four men who'd been searching the area on four-wheelers for nearly a week after police said 57-year-old Gary Simpson had been spotted nearby buying camping supplies, groceries, girls' underwear, and other items. The men finally found Carlie and Simpson after returning to search an area they'd visited a day earlier.

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Roger Carpenter, also among the group, says they were in the vicinity of a barn on Wednesday but ruled out the area because they didn't see tire tracks. But God "gave us a clue," he tells WBIR. "Thank God we went back there." The director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says the men are heroes, but Carpenter says he would've wanted everyone out searching if his own granddaughter had been kidnapped. "I'm no hero," he says. Simpson has been charged with custodial interference and especially aggravated kidnapping and is due in court Monday. Before Carlie was found, her father told WVLT that he worried his daughter "won't be the same," but a sheriff says the girl was playing at the hospital where she was taken to be checked out and seemed happy. Read more on the men's discovery of Carlie here. (Read more kidnapping stories.)

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