ROGERSVILLE (WATE) – The men who helped rescue Hawkins County kidnapping victim Carlie Trent are donating the nearly $40,000 reward to more than 23 non-profit and service organizations in the county.
Carlie was the subject of an eight-day Amber Alert in May. She was taken from school by her uncle-by-marriage Gary Simpson and people spent countless hours searching for her. She was finally found in a rural area by three men: Stuart Franklin, Larry “Hambone” Hamblen and Donnie Lawson. Franklin, while riding an ATV, found Carlie carrying a teddy bear on property belonging to Lawson’s brother.
Carlie appeared to be unhurt. Simpson was arrested on a number of charges.
In the days leading up to her rescue, many people in the community also stepped up to offer rewards for her safe return. Carlie’s pediatrician, Dr. Chris Calendine, offered a $10,000 reward. The U.S. Marshal’s Service offered $5,000 and two Knoxville banking executives pledged $10,000. Nashville musician Trey Healy added $5,000 and several other people added to the reward as well.
At the request of the four men who found Carlie, the money will be donated to Planned Giving of Hawkins County, operated under the umbrella of One Accord Ministry. It will then be distributed to nearly two dozen organizations in the county.
The men are holding a media conference Tuesday afternoon at Shepherd’s Center in Rogersville at 4 p.m. to announce exactly how the money will be spent.
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