Uncle Bought Girls' Underwear, Clothes and Makeup Before Abducting Niece, 9: Police
The Tennessee man authorities believe kidnapped his 9-year-old niece is said to have bought makeup and clothes—including underwear—meant for a little girl before he allegedly disappeared with the child.
Gary Simpson, 57, signed his niece Carlie Marie Trent out of her Rogersville elementary school on Wednesday after telling officials that her father had been in a serious accident, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.
The pair hasn’t been heard from since.
On Tuesday, the bureau released new surveillance video from a Save-A-Lot store in Rogersville apparently showing Carlie and her uncle buying toilet paper, canned soda and other food items. She is wearing shorts and a striped tank top and stands calmly as Simpson loads the items in a shopping cart.
The video was taken last Wednesday, after he signed her out of school, authorities said.
Simpson, an uncle to Trent through marriage who once had custody of the little girl and her younger sister, stopped at a local WalMart before abducting the child, investigators said.
He bought items including a men’s t-shirt, a child’s nightgown, two pairs of girls’ pants, a flowery child’s two-piece bathing suit and 12-pack of Fruit of the Loom girls’ bikini underwear, authorities said on Tuesday.
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
Simpson also picked up bright lip-gloss, glittery nail polish, a purple-and-pink zebra throw blanket and a pink camping chair, officials said.
The girl's father, James Trent, was disgusted by the news of what his brother-in-law of 34 years reportedly bought his daughter, writing on Facebook: “Oh my god… he bought her all that purple stuff...she hates purple...Gary is crazy about purple.”
Information on Simpson’s shopping spree came as the search for Trent entered its sixth day.
“We believe the child to be in imminent danger,” TBI Public Information Officer Josh DeVine told InsideEdition.com after days had gone by without a single credible sighting of Trent, Simpson or his white Dodge van.
The United States Marshal’s Service increased its initial reward for information leading to Trent’s recovery and Simpson’s arrest from $2,500 to $5,000. An additional $10,000 was put up by Trent’s pediatrician, Dr. Chris Calendine.
“We continue to urge the public to remain vigilant and alert law enforcement if they see the child, the suspect, or the van involved in this incident,” the TBI said in a news release.
Anyone with information is urged to the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.