Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Father of missing teen says she was brainwashed

Father of missing teen says she was brainwashed

Tad Cummins, 50, and Elizabeth Thomas, 15, in undated photos released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins has been caught by law enforcement after a weeks-long manhunt across multiple states after he allegedly kidnapped 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas.

Yesterday, he said, Cummins and Elizabeth helped him fish rocks out of the creek.

The cabin is located in a remote area with little to no cellphone service, authorities said.

Siskiyou County Sheriff's Offices spokeswoman Kelly Giordano said Cummins' vehicle was found Wednesday night.

Cummins was sacked from his teaching job after being accused of having an inappropriate relationship with Thomas. Thanks go to all who have kept the message of finding Elizabeth Thomas and working on her safe return as top-of-mind throughout the nation.

Giordano says the license plate had been removed from the vehicle that was confirmed to belong to Cummins through the VIN number. An Amber Alert had been issued for Thomas. "What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end".

Cummins faces charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said. There had been only one confirmed sighting of the pair - at an Oklahoma City Walmart just two days after Thomas went missing - in the almost six weeks since the teenager was reported missing by her parents.

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.

Cummins and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas were reported missing on March 13 and have been the subjects of an Amber Alert issued since.

The TBI is planning an afternoon news conference.

The report recommended that the girl be taken out of Cummins' class and that he be reprimanded to uphold his professional responsibility.

"He had lied to all these kids", he said. "I'm not aware that they had ever been there".

He added that his daughter told him Cummins claimed to have millions of dollars and multiple pieces of property. Court records show that Jill Cummins sued her then-missing husband on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and inappropriate marital conduct. "For your sake and for Beth's sake, please go to the police or please just drop Beth off somewhere safe".

The teacher's wife of 31 years has filed for divorce.

They will bring Thomas home on board TBI aircraft, though authorities did not say when she would be back with her family. "(Thomas) advised that Cummins possibly held both of her hands around the wrist area and may have been close to her face at the time, telling her she needed to calm down".

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