In an interview with Inside Edition, Jill Cummins, the wife of alleged kidnap suspect Tad Cummins, said that she and her husband had been trying to help his alleged victim, who was having a difficult time at home.
According to Cummins, the teen, a student of her husband’s, was like a daughter to her.
“I feel slightly betrayed by her because she knew me.”
“I don’t really want to talk to her. It’s not the right time. Maybe one day,” she said.
Jill Cummins filed for divorce from her husband the day after he disappeared with his teenaged student. She said that the young girl was probably exploited and was likely brainwashed by Tad Cummins.
Still, Jill said that the whole thing has taken her by surprise. “Never did I think there was a romantic thing between the two of them,” she revealed.
“There were no signs of that.”
However, Jill Cummins did reveal that she had warned Tad against becoming too close to his student after she noticed that they were getting a little too friendly. “He was getting really close to her,” Cummins said.
“A father-daughter close, a friendship close, and I knew that.”
— CNN (@CNN) April 20, 2017
“I discussed that with him,” she added. “And explained to him, ‘She’s your student, you can’t be so close to her.'”
In the interview, Tad Cummins’ wife also talked about the role she played in the hunt for the former high school teacher and his alleged victim. According to Jill, she had played a key role, giving investigators clues whenever she could and appearing on television to plead with Tad to turn himself in. She said that she also helped authorities try to identify Cummins in surveillance clips.
“They would send me pictures from surveillance cameras to get my opinion whether or not it was him.”
On a more emotional note, Jill Cummins spoke about a recent jailhouse conversation with the former Tennessee teacher.
“I said, ‘Well, did you sleep with her?'”
“‘Yes, I did,'” Tad Cummins reportedly answered.
“I didn’t want any details. But I knew the truth. I just wanted to hear it from him to me. I told him, I probably wouldn’t be answering the phone anymore.”
“I told him, ‘She is a child, and you are a 50-year-old man and that’s not right,'” Jill recalled.
“She didn’t have a choice whether or not go with you. He said, ‘She did have a choice.'”
— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) April 29, 2017
According to Inside Edition, a representative for the 15-year-old teenager called her alleged kidnapper a “classic predator” who had brainwashed the young girl into leaving her family to be with him.
Tad Cummins and his alleged kidnap victim were found after five weeks of a nationwide Amber Alert manhunt. A tip led authorities to a remote cabin in the Northern California community of Cecilville, nearly 2,000 miles from the Tennessee town where Cummins lived.
The high schooler was reunited with her family while Tad Cummins was arrested by Siskiyou County authorities. He appeared in court in Sacramento last week and will soon be transported to federal court in Tennessee. Cummins faces state charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor, as well as a federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines for the purpose of criminal sexual intercourse. If convicted, he could spend a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.
In Siskiyou County, he faces charges of kidnapping and possession of stolen property. According to Fox 17, court documents reveal that Cummins was planning on taking the teenager to Mexico.
[Featured Image by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation]