Authorities: Tennessee student, teacher found in California
Teacher Tad Cummins took guns, money and his wife's auto before kidnapping a 15-year-old female student and taking her on a 2,500-mile cross-country journey that ended Thursday, court records show. The two were subjects of an Amber Alert since March 14.
The affidavit then says they spoke with Thomas' father.
Hotel companies alerted authorities that the two had checked in to motels in Oklahoma City and Guymon, Oklahoma, but they were gone by the time police got the tips, the complaint says.
After the capture, Cummins was charged with one federal count of transportations of a minor across state lines for the objective of criminal sexual intercourse, said Jack Smith, acting U.S. attorney for Middle District of Tennessee.
Friday, March 17: The TBI added Cummins to its top 10 most wanted list.
Thomas and Cummins were last seen.
"They were going to try and contain him but thought, 'Naw, he's supposed to be armed and risky.'" Cummins was on Tennessee's 10 Most Wanted list.
Officials said Thomas is "healthy and unharmed", but they are concerned about her emotional and mental condition.
On March 13, Elizabeth disappeared from her home near Columbia.
Cummins' vehicle was recovered on Wednesday night in Siskiyou County, about three hours northwest of Redding, California, near the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office.
A 12-year-old student at Culleoka Unit School in Maury County, Tennessee was the first person to report suspected inappropriate behavior between Thomas and Cummins.
The caller said they were living in a cabin in a remote area of Cecilville, CA.
The document said Thomas was "scared of Cummins and felt in over her head". Deputies say Thomas appeared to be in good health and Cummins was cooperative at the scene.
Cummins' wife, Jill, had pleaded with her husband to turn himself in.
The father tells WSMV-TV that his daughter is probably going to be hungry and that he can't wait to tell her that he loves her. She reported Cummins had taken out a $4,500 loan the week before, but the money was missing along with two guns, clothes and toiletries, records show.
"We are all stoked she was found", O'Hare said. In Tennessee, Cummins is being charged with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor having sexual contact with a minor.
The news of Elizabeth Thomas' safe return is wonderful news for our community, and now, we can begin healing as a community, school district and as families touched by the AMBER alert.
The abducted by her former teacher that sparked a nationwide manhunt is expected to be back with her family soon.