Thomas family releases statement; wants to 'focus on recovery'

Caroline Beck
May 9, 2017

Thomas was found safe with her teacher last week in a remote part of Northern California.

Police arrested kidnapping suspect Tad Cummins in Siskiyou County, Calif., on Thursday, April 20.

Cummins was deemed a flight risk and a danger, according to the USA attorney's office.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth's alleged abductor has been detained in California's Sacramento County jail since Friday.

He was hoping to take her to Mexico, court documents say, even using a small watercraft for "a test run".

Friends of the Cummins family expressed shock over the revelation, as both Tad and Jill Cummins were involved in their church, Destiny Church in Columbia, and frequently took the teen to worship with them. The pair went missing on March 13.

The documents claim that Mrs. Thomas abused her other children as well: She is accused of knocking one daughter unconscious with a wooden board, hitting her children so hard that they bled, and throwing a chair at a daughter.

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Kat Bozeman said the family is focusing on the recovery of her teenage sister after Thomas had been kidnapped. According to the federal prosecutors, Cummins admitted to complex efforts to avoid capture during his 38 days on the run, including traveling back roads through nine states, using disguises, disengaging the Global Positioning System on his wife's Nissan Rogue and staying in motels with lax check-in procedures and communes.

Anthony Thomas, Elizabeth's father, added that she is "very thin and very jittery" after vanishing for 39 days with former teacher Tad Cummins, 50.

But the difference was also noticeable in the expression in his daughter's face, Anthony Thomas said. Cummins faces multiple charges, including knowingly transporting a minor across state lines with the intention to engage in sexual activity, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment.

Cummins and Thomas were found last Thursday after a nationwide manhunt.

The father told News 2 he's been able to see her several times since then, saying she's relaxing little by little but "you can still tell she's very sensitive to too much going on".

School officials suspended Cummins on February 6 when he was observed on a surveillance system at the school as being alone with the girl in his classroom for a half hour two days after he'd been confronted by police, the complaint said.

Cummins, who was a teacher, is in federal custody. They ultimately located and captured Cummins, thanks to a vital tip from a citizen. Family members previously said she has lost a lot of weight and is choosing who she wants to spend time with.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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