Has Elizabeth Thomas been spotted in Las Vegas? A YouTube poker vlogger captured what might be the missing Tennessee teenager and her alleged abductor walking past the camera in a crowd, and commenters are convinced that this is a promising lead in the ongoing investigation into her disappearance.
As the Tennessean reports, 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas, of Tennessee, has been missing since March 13. She is believed to have either voluntarily left with or have been abducted by her former teacher, 50-year-old Tad Cummins. Cummins was fired from his teaching job after multiple incidents of the two being caught together having inappropriate contact. Thomas’ family believes that Cummins groomed and manipulated the vulnerable young girl into a relationship with him.
Since going missing, Thomas has been definitively spotted in a nearby Alabama town hours after she went missing, and then again at an Oklahoma Walmart two weeks later.
Now, it appears, a YouTube user may have captured the missing pair in Las Vegas.
YouTuber TheTrooper97, who posts vlogs mostly related to his career playing poker professionally in Las Vegas, posted a video titled “Back in Business” on April 6, which he says was shot on April 5. At around 0:51 in the video, during a crowd scene that the videographer filmed to set the mood, a middle-aged man and teenage girl walk by the camera. Unfortunately, the video owner has disabled embedding, so you will have to follow the link in the previous sentence to see the video for yourself (the man and girl walk by at about 0:51). Below, however, is a screen shot of the scene in question.
By way of comparison, below, courtesy of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), is a photo of Cummins and Thomas.
In the comments section of Trooper’s video, viewers are convinced they’ve landed on a convincing lead.
Patrick Doran: “trooper not sure if you noticed at :51 into the vid you recorded the teacher that took that teenage girl, you should contact the police immediately and tell them where exactly this was at”
Patricia Buckley: “wow. Trooper at the :50 second mark,you captured the teacher,and missing teenage girl they are looking for. did you notice that?”
At this time, two important points need to be made.
First and foremost, there is no official evidence that Thomas and Cummins are, or were, in Las Vegas, and any speculation that a YouTube vlogger captured them in Sin City is just that: speculation. While the two people in question do bear striking similarities to the missing teen and her alleged abductor, lacking sophisticated facial-recognition software or other evidence, it could very well be that these are just two people who happen to look similar.
Second, the fact that Cummins would bring Thomas to Las Vegas — where tens of thousands of eyes would be on them, to say nothing of security cameras everywhere — stands in sharp contrast to what the TBI believes. Specifically, the TBI believes that Cummins may have taken Thomas off the grid; he’s believed to have watched survival shows on TV in order to prepare for living life away from society. Further, the TBI is specifically asking people in rural areas — campgrounds, for example — to keep an eye out for the missing pair.
This is a developing story. More information about Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins having possibly been spotted in Las Vegas, or anywhere else, will be provided as it becomes available.
[Featured Image by Twitter/Tennessee Bureau of Investigation]