ROGERSVILLE (WATE) – Two people, now being called heroes, helped rescue Carlie Trent and turn her uncle over to law enforcement after an eight-day Amber Alert that led to a massive search effort.
Stuart Franklin and Donnie Lawson were among a four-man search party that had taken to the rural Clinch Valley area to look for Carlie and Gary Simpson. Franklin, while riding an ATV, found Carlie walking around carrying a teddy bear. Simpson was nearby. Franklin then held Simpson at gunpoint while Lawson took her to the nearest home to call 911.
The homeowners say she was scared, but appeared otherwise unhurt. Joe and Joleen Sizemore live on Gravely Valley Road, one of just a few houses within miles and the nearest place when Trent and Simpson were found.
“Here comes Donnie running just as hard as he could run yelling, ‘Call 911! Call the law, call Amber Alert right quick,’ because he said, ‘I’ve found the little girl,'” said Joleen Sizemore.
“Donnie pulled in with the little girl on the four wheeler and Joleen went out there and loved on her and told her how pretty she was,” said Joe Sizemore.
“I said, ‘Are you alright honey?’ and she shook her head and said, ‘Yeah I’m alright,’ but you could feel her when I hugged her like she was trembling all over. Like she was nervous,” said Joleen Sizemore.
The spot where Simpson was allegedly hiding with Carlie is just up the hill behind a row of trees from the Sizemores. Tire tracks are now the only sign anyone was ever there. The Sizemores say someone would have to know the area to find that place.
“If I ain’t bad mistaken, I believe I’ve seen that van go through here in the past few weeks,” said.Joleen Sizemore.
The Sizemores are just glad they were home to help, saying they had a feeling Carlie might be nearby.
“I told Joleen I might need to get out and drive the road. I got a feeling that a youngin’ is close to the house. I had a deep feeling that youngin’ was there,” said Joe Sizemore.
“I told [Carlie], I said, ‘Honey. I don’t know if anyone ever told you about the Lord or not, but he’s been watching over you because I’ve been praying and a lot of other people have too,'” said Joleen Sizemore.
The two were found on Donnie Lawson’s brother’s property. Lawson says he doesn’t consider himself a hero, but he was just in the right place at the right time.