Tennessee Teacher Suspected of Kidnapping 15-Year-Old Arrested

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 24, 2017

-- 12:30 p.m. Authorities say a 15-year-old Tennessee girl who disappeared with her teacher last month has been found safe in California and the teacher has been arrested. But the girl has not been able to speak with her family yet because she is in "too remote" of a location to do so, Thomas family attorney Jason Whatley said. We are extremely thankful the hard work of all partners in this search has paid off.

As The Birmingham News reported, as far back as January, Thomas' fellow students at Culleoka Unit School began to suspect that something inappropriate was going on between Cummins, 50, and Thomas, 15.

"You know you can't hide forever", Jill Cummins said in an interview with NBC News. Cummins had been suspended after a student reported seeing them kissing in a classroom.

Then, on March 29, employees of an Oklahoma City motel told the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that a patron matching Cummins' description had checked into a room.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017: Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Kelly Giordano said authorities found Cummins' Nissan Rogue. In the cabin, he said, was a single sleeping pad and clothing along with the two loaded guns - a 9mm and a.380 compact pistol. The sheriff said the two had stopped in Berkeley first and that's how they found out about the commune.

Their vehicle did not have license plates and he noticed that the young woman would not get out of the auto when the man got out.

Gilley confirmed that his team worked with a neighbor to draw Cummins out of the cabin in order to separate him from Elizabeth.

He added that his daughter told him Cummins claimed to have millions of dollars and multiple pieces of property. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tweeted Thursday that teacher Tad Cummins had been taken into custody. An attorney for the girl's family has said her father didn't find out about the report of the kiss or the school's investigation until a law enforcement agent showed up at his door.

"These two had a relationship to the extent where she didn't exhibit any anger toward him".

TBI director Mark Gwyn said at a press conference Thursday he couldn't be happier to tell everyone Thomas is on her way home and Cummins potentially faces "a set of charges to keep him behind bars for many years".

He said Thomas appears to be healthy and unharmed, but authorities are concerned about her emotional and mental state, and will continue to view her as a potential witness and victim in the case.

After being missing for more than a month, a 15-year-old Tennessee girl was found near a cabin in a remote part of northern California and the 50-year-old teacher accused of kidnapping her was arrested.

In the days before he allegedly abducted his 15-year-old student, Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins refilled a prescription for Cialis, took out a loan for quick cash and made hotel reservations in another state, actions investigators believe show he was planning to leave with the girl.

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