Authorities search for missing student and teacher

Caroline Beck
March 21, 2017

Police believe she is with her former school teacher, 50-year-old Tad Cummins.

The bureau has been searching for the blond-haired student and 50-year-old Maury County Schools health teacher Tad Cummins since March 13.

He is a former teacher and is now facing charges for aggravated kidnapping and having sexual contact with Thomas at school.

DeVine said that investigators believe that Cummins is keeping Elizabeth Thomas, 15, out of sight and the pair could literally be anywhere at this point. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings.

Cummins is described as 6 fee tall and about 200 pounds, with brown hair and eyes.

Elizabeth's family said in a statement, "We ask that you continue to share Elizabeth's story and to immediately notify law enforcement if you think you may have seen her. In fact, it only heightens it".

A lawyer for the Thomas family described Cummins as "obviously a man who is not in control of his faculties".

In a news release, the TBI said Cummins may be keeping Elizabeth out of sight of authorities, possibly sleeping in his vehicle or in a rural community.

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As People reports, Jill claims that she didn't have a clue that her husband "was involved with anything that could have led to this".

Elizabeth Thomas has been missing since Monday. Here's surveillance video of Cummins, filling his Nissan Rogue with gasoline, which we believe he did just prior to picking up Thomas at a nearby Shoney's, which is the last known sighting of Thomas.

The family of the missing Middle Tennessee teen at the center of a nationwide Amber Alert made a plea for her safe return.

Cummins' wife also spoke out, hoping to reach her husband, to encourage him to turn himself in. "This is not who you are".

Thomas is a 15-year-old white female, with hazel eyes, stands 5 feet, 5 inches and weighs 120 pounds. "We can help you get through this".

The TBI's investigation thus far has suggested Tad Cummins "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom this vulnerable young girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her", an statewide AMBER alert update from the TBI said. "But the reality is we remain hopeful, because all it takes is one person who knows what to be looking for and what to do when [they] see it".

Anyone with information on Cummins or Thomas should call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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