Trent rescuers: I think it’s the Lord leading us

Published: May. 13, 2016 at 12:10 AM EDT
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People greeted the rescue crew that found 9-year-old Carlie Trent with hugs and handshakes.

They weren’t able to say much moments after law enforcement put Gary Simpson, Carlie’s uncle and kidnapping suspect, in handcuffs, but believe a higher power put them in the right place at the right time.

“You’re going to want to get this,” Roger Carpenter, one of the members of the search team said when ATVs came barreling down the hillside near Gravely Valley Road in Hawkins County.

Stuart Franklin and Donnie Lawson tied Simpson up with a belt and held him at gunpoint until authorities arrived.

“I think it’s the Lord leading us,” Franklin said. “Each one of us had been praying every day to help us to find this little girl. Finally, answered prayers.

Franklin said his two daughters inspired him to search for the Trent, adding it wasn’t chance that led them to the spot where they found the 9-year-old.

“There’s a lot of abandoned cabins in the area,” Franklin said. “It’s a lot of wilderness in here.”

Franklin said he passed the area before, but something made him check again.

“Something just kept telling us to come back to Gravely Valley Road. I think I know what that something was. That’s why I wear this shirt,” Carpenter said, pointing to his t-shirt with the words “God is my hero.”

“Very thankful to the Lord that we were able to find her and get her back safely,” Franklin said.

According to reports, Carlie Trent is out of the hospital and at home Friday afternoon.