Tennessee Teacher Suspected In Kidnapping Arrested

by Marta Holmes April 22, 2017, 1:46
Tennessee Teacher Suspected In Kidnapping Arrested

Investigators believe, though the information is preliminary, that Cummins and Thomas had been living in a cabin in that rural area for about a week and a half when they were found.

NASHVILLE -The missing Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins and kidnapped student Elizabeth Thomas have been located in Northern California, according to a social media report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. TBI contacted the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office and learned they had received the same tip from the same person. It was verified to belong to Cummins through its VIN number, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office. A witness who had befriended the two assisted deputies.

Yesterday, he said, Cummins and Elizabeth helped him fish rocks out of the creek. She will undergo a forensic examination and receive any care that she may need, authorities said.

Former teacher Tad Cummins has been arrested in northern California. According to a family lawyer, the pair was found at a commune.

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, Cummins remained in the custody of the Siskiyou County jail where he's being held without bond, awaiting extradition to Tennessee.

"When my neighbor called and told me, I thought 'Oh my God, no, we are way too far from (Tennessee),' " O'Hare said. The charges are pending review by Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus.

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Cummins, who reportedly said "I'm glad this is over" upon his arrest, is facing both state and federal charges including aggravated kidnapping, sexual contact with a minor, and taking a minor across state lines for sex.

In addition to the state charges he was already facing, Cummins now faces a charge of transportation of a minor across state lines for the objective of having criminal sexual intercourse, which carries at least a 10 year prison sentence. If convicted of the federal charge, he faces at least 10 years in prison, acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith said.

They were spotted in Oklahoma city after the disappearance, where surveillance footage showed them purchasing food items in the store with cash. There are "particular qualities in the Northwest that make it easy to disappear", Whatley said. He added that when Thomas wanted to share something she would whisper stuff in Cummins' ear and then Cummins would repeat it.

A TBI plane is supposed to fly the girl back home. Cummins was suspended from his job after he was allegedly caught kissing Elizabeth on school grounds, and he was sacked after he and Elizabeth went missing.

"As we have said from the start, it only takes one tip", Gwyn said. "This is yet another example of the value of the public helping us to rescue a kidnapping victim".


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