Tennessee student, teacher found in California
In an ironic twist of fate, a man from Nashville contributed to the capture of Tad Cummins and safe rescue of Elizabeth Thomas Thursday at a northern California cabin. "Knowing that, our main concern is how is she emotionally", said District Attorney General Brent Cooper, "If she needs help, whatever help we can offer, we will make sure that's provided to her".
"Our intelligence analysts and agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this AMBER Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states", Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director Mark Gwyn said in a statement.
During Thursday's press conference, Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith announced they have also filed federal charges against Cummins.
Many have questioned if Elizabeth went willingly.
The 50-year-old already faced one count of kidnapping in the case, which has since been upgraded to aggravated kidnapping.
"I feel a little amusing because there were all kinds of indications that there was something a little amusing going on never occurred to me that she was 15 year old, they said she was 22, I thought...yeah", said Peter LaughingWolf. "Because most kidnap victims are held in small counties and no one recognizes them and they just hide out like normal people", she said.
On March 13, Cummins told his wife he needed to borrow her Nissan Rogue to go for a job interview at the Williamson County Medical Center.
There is limited or no cellphone service in the area, and authorities had a hard time getting to the cabin because of snow that's on the ground, Devine said. Snow is still on the ground in some places.
Her dad said, "We are going to get her back".
Court papers filed recently in the girl's disappearance said she was afraid of the teacher and thought she would face repercussions at school if she resisted him.
"There aren't words in the English language to describe the level of relief and elation experienced by the Thomas family", said Jason Whatley, attorney for the family. The teacher, however, acknowledged that the girl was "a really good friend and she does leave her other classes to come see him when she needs someone to calm her down", according to a school report dated January 30.
April 12 - A report was released stating Cummins left a note for his wife on the day of his disappearance. Cummins had been suspended after a student reported seeing them kissing in a classroom.
The teacher would later be reprimanded on February 3 by school principal Penny Love after the girl was seen in Cummins classroom for a little more than half an hour that day.
The 14-year-old said she can't wait to tell her big sister she loves her and give her a hug.
January 4 - The Culleoka (Tenn.) Unit School administration was notified by a student that alleged that Cummins and Thomas had kissed.