Teacher accused of kidnapping student arrested in California

Jane Richards
April 21, 2017

"Our Intelligence Analysts and Agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this AMBER Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states", said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. "What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end".

The affidavit then says they spoke with Thomas' father.

Investigators found out that Cummins booked rooms - in his own name - at Super 8 motels in Oklahoma City and in Guymon, Oklahoma, in March.

"We want to make sure she is getting the best care and she is in the best state possible before she gets home to Tennessee", he said.

According to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, two loaded handguns were recovered at the cabin, along with personal items belonging to Thomas and Cummins.

Siskiyou County sheriff's Sgt. Mike Gilley said in a press conference on Thursday that Tad Cummins, 50, said "I'm glad this is over" in a "spontaneous statement" during his arrest earlier this week.

Tuesday, March 14: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert for Thomas and Cummins.

"She's apparently healthy and unharmed", a prosecutor said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The tipster, who said he had rented out the cabin to Cummins and Elizabeth, said in an interview with Today that they said they were from Colorado and that Cummis had claimed that Thomas was 24 and he was in his 30s.

Thomas was found safe with Cummins after local residents tipped authorities to the presence of the pair late Wednesday night, Giordano said.

Cummins had been suspended from teaching at the Culleoka Unit School, where Thomas attends, in February after disobeying an order barring Thomas from his classroom following an incident the month before where a student reported seeing the two kissing.

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. After they went missing, Cummins's wife of 31 years, Jill, filed for divorce.

Cummins surrendered to police on Thursday near a remote cabin in Cecilville, California.

The report recommended that the girl be taken out of Cummins' class and that he be reprimanded to uphold his professional responsibility.

"I've been telling people all along she is in a commune, because most kidnap victims are held in small counties and no one recognizes them", she said. The school system said the community can now begin healing.

He is now facing charges of having sexual contact with a minor.

Sarah Thomas said she noticed the word "Wife" with a diamond ring emoji added to Elizabeth Thomas' Instagram biography.

Other reports by VgToday

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