Elizabeth Thomas found safe, ex-teacher arrested

A girl missing from middle-Tennessee since March has been found safe in northern California.

Tad Cummins has been on the run with 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas, a former student, since mid-March. She was the subject of a nation-wide Amber Alert.

TBI confirmed that Cummins was arrested and Elizabeth was safe.

Earlier, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office reported that the Nissan Rogue used by former Cummins has been found.

The Nissan Rogue used by former Middle Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins has been found in northern California, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Giordano said the vehicle was found Wednesday night.

She would not say specifically where but said, "We are currently working an active incident regarding the kidnapping."

Giordano would not confirm whether Cummins and missing Elizabeth Thomas were found but said deputies are working an active incident and "Any other details are being withheld for officer safety.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert for Thomas of Columbia, Tenn. after her parents reported her missing March 13.


Cummins is wanted by authorities on charges including aggravated kidnapping.

The county is in remote area near the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, about three hours northwest of Redding, Ca.

Cummings was Elizabeth's 50-year-old high-school teacher at Culleoka Unit School in Maury County, Tenn. He has since been fired.

A warrant was issued for Cummins' arrest after a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation suggested he "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."

Family asks for continued prayers amid ongoing AMBER Alert for Elizabeth Thomas
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Reach Natalie Neysa Alund at 615-259-8072 and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

Tennessean


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