Two disturbing details have emerged in the missing Elizabeth Thomas case. An Amber alert has been issued in Tennessee and Alabama for missing teen who was last seen at a Shoney’s restaurant on the morning of March 13, the day she disappeared. She’s believed to have been kidnapped by her high school teacher, Tad Cummins, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is asking for the public’s help in finding Cummins and the missing Tennessee girl. A warrant has been issued for his arrest on charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor
New video surveillance shows Cummins shopping for women’s dark brown hair dye at a Tennessee Walmart days before the alleged kidnapping. Daily Mail reports that Elizabeth had also changed her Instagram profile to “wife” with a ring emoji. TBI has determined, however, that the hair dye purchase “was not part” of the kidnapping. Nevertheless, Elizabeth’s family is shaken up by the footage.
Cummins, 50, was seen gassing up his car at a local gas station near Shoney’s on the morning of Elizabeth Thomas’ disappearance. He was driving a Silver Nissan Rogue with a Tennessee license plate 976ZPT. He’s believed to be “armed and dangerous.”
— People Magazine (@people) March 21, 2017
Tad Cummins was a teacher at Culleoka High School in Columbia, Tennessee and was suspended in February by the Maury County School District after a witness saw him kissing Elizabeth in his classroom in January. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that he was fired.
When the student who witnessed Cummins kiss Thomas, he said he was helping with issues at home and that they were best friends. Elizabeth Thomas is said to have a good relationship with her father, who got sole custody of her in 2015.
— Spring Hill Police (@springhillpdtn) March 20, 2017
Thomas family attorney, Jason Whatley, told People magazine that Cummins is a “predator” and was grooming Elizabeth by creating vulnerability in her. He also revealed that Elizabeth told one of her siblings that if she wasn’t back by 6 p.m. on the day she went missing to call police.
In other clues into the kidnapping, Cummins took out a $4,500 loan days before Thomas went missing. The teen also referred to a “mission” on social media before her disappearance and posted quotes about love.
Whatley has no doubts that the teacher had the alleged kidnapping well planned out in advance. In earlier reports, it was noted that he watched survivalist shows and that might be one reason it’s been hard for law enforcement to track him down. They’re urging the public to look for the missing teen and her abductor in recreational areas, parks, garages, and other isolated areas.
Cummins’ wife, Jill, gave a statement on Saturday pleading with her husband to return and bring Elizabeth back safely.
“Tad this is not you. This is not who you are. We can help you get through this,” Jill said.
“No matter how far you’ve gone or what’s happening right now, God’s grace is sufficient for you and he wants you to come home. Your family wants their poppy back. Please do the right thing, and turn yourself into the police and bring Beth home.”
Authorities say that it’s “entirely likely” that Elizabeth Thomas doesn’t see herself as a victim and went with Cummins willingly. She’s known the teacher for two years.
Elizabeth was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings. She’s 5-feet-5-inches-tall and weighs 120 pounds. She has blonde hair and hazel eyes.
Cummins is 6-feet-tall and weighs 200 pounds with brown hair and eyes.
If anyone sees Elizabeth Thomas or Tad Cummins, they’re asked to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
[Featured Image by IanMcD/Thinkstock]