Manhunt Underway a Week After Teacher Allegedly Abducts Student
Authorities are asking for the public’s help in locating the victim, who is believed to be in imminent danger.
Police are searching for a former high school teacher who they believe abducted one of his former students.
Tad Cummins, 50, has been charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor for his role in the disappearance of 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas more than a week ago.
Cummins is believed to be armed with two handguns and authorities say Thomas is in imminent danger, according to ABC News.
“What scares us about Mr. Cummins is he’s sort of given up his life at this point,” Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland said. “The girl is just 15.”
Thomas went missing from a restaurant in Columbia, Tennessee on March 13. Video surveillance footage captured Cummins getting gas at a station nearby at the time of her disappearance.
Police believe the two drove 80 miles to Decatur, Alabama that afternoon in Cummins’ silver Nissan Rogue.
Suspicions first arose between the two on Jan. 24 when a student reported seeing Cummins, then a health science teacher at Culleoka Unit School, kissing Thomas. Cummins was dismissed following an investigation by the school district, and that’s when authorities believe he started planning the kidnapping.
An Amber Alert update issued yesterday stated that police have received close to 500 tips about their whereabouts but there have been “no credible sightings or actionable information… The individuals could be anywhere.”
Police are asking residents in rural areas to check their properties for suspicious activity or vehicles.
Cummins has also been placed on Tennessee’s most wanted list.