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Carlie Marie Trent is seen in an undated photo provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation via the Rogersville Police Department. Nine-year-old Carlie Marie Trent of Rogersville was reported missing on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, after a non-custodial uncle, Gary Simpson, signed her out of school under false pretenses.
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Gary Simpson

A 9-year-old girl abducted more than a week ago when her uncle signed her out of school has been found safe in a remote area of Hawkins County, Tenn.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation posted on its official Twitter page that Carlie Marie Trent was found safe Thursday and 57-year-old Gary Simpson had been arrested. Earlier Thursday, the TBI had added the uncle to its Top 10 Most Wanted list, and officials warned that the girl was in imminent danger.

Two Hawkins County citizens found Simpson on their property and kept him contained at gunpoint until police arrived, according to the spokesperson.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn told a news conference that Donnie Lawson and Baptist minister Roger Carpenter found Gary Simpson and Carlie on Thursday in a remote wooded area only accessible by all-terrain vehicles. He said they found them in the same rural part of East Tennessee where Carlie disappeared. Gwyn said Carpenter held Simpson at gunpoint while Lawson called the police.

Gwyn called the men heroes for deciding to check the remote area after authorities had issued a call for help finding Carlie. Gwyn says there are no indications that Carlie was harmed, but she is being taken to a hospital as a precaution to be examined.

Simpson is married to the sister of Carlie's father. The families live close to one another in rural Hawkins County in East Tennessee. The uncle and his wife had custody of Carlie and her little sister while their father was jailed on drug charges, but the girls went back to live with their father in 2015, DeVine said. He said investigators have not been able to find any work history for Simpson.

Police say Simpson signed his 9-year-old niece out of school on May 4. They believed he may have taken her to a remote area or to a campground after seeing surveillance video taken shortly before the kidnapping showing him stocking up on items from an area Wal-Mart including a bikini, two tubes of colored lip gloss, nail polish, an outdoor chair and a child's nightgown.

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