Elizabeth Thomas/Tad Cummins Found Safe

Elizabeth Thomas/Tad Cummins Found Safe

Elizabeth Thomas/Tad Cummins Found Safe

ROBERTSON COUNTY TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – Within the last hour the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation made the following announcement on their Facebook page;

“Couldn’t be happier to share this news with you! More details soon, but Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas have been located in Northern California. He’s under arrest. She’s been safely recovered! More details soon!”

Tad Cummins, the former Tennessee teacher, has been accused of kidnapping 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas and he has been arrested. The two were located in a northern California commune.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tad Cummins, 50, was taken into custody and Elizabeth Thomas was located in Cecilville, California. (See map left)

The TBI received a tip about the two late Wednesday night and notified California authorities.

The Nissan Rogue  police believe the two were using was also located, the license plate had been removed.

Cummins surrendered without incident, according to the TBI. Thomas was then recovered by officers, she is now in the process of being reunited with her family.

Cummins and Thomas disappeared from Columbia, Tennessee, on March 13, some 2378 miles from where they were both discovered. MAP. An AMBER Alert that ultimately went nationwide was issued the next day. Cummins was added to the TBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list on March 17.

According to our News Partners over at WKRN News 2, the former teacher is charged with aggravated kidnapping in the AMBER Alert case and also faces one count of sexual contact with a minor after he
allegedly kissed Thomas at school earlier this year in late January.

“Our Intelligence Analysts and Agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this AMBER Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end. We are extremely thankful the hard work of all partners in this search has paid off. We’re also grateful for the public’s support and vigilance throughout this search effort.”

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, Cummins remained in the custody of the Siskiyou County jail where he’s being held without bond, awaiting extradition to Tennessee.

A mug shot was not immediately released.

News 2 spoke with one of Thomas’ sisters early Thursday afternoon. Kat Bozeman said the Federal Bureau of Investigation told them Thomas was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation. The TBI also reportedly said Thomas appears to be healthy and safe.

Bozeman also told News 2 the family is absolutely elated she was found, and federal agents said it would be about a day before they can see the 15-year-old again.

UPDATE:

Below is an update with more information from the T.B.I.

NASHVILLE – Acting on a tip received by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation late last night, authorities in Siskiyou County, California have rescued Elizabeth Thomas and arrested Tad Cummins, after locating the pair at a rural cabin in Cecilville early this morning.

Thomas, 15, was the subject of a Tennessee AMBER Alert issued on March 14th, after having been kidnapped a day earlier by Tad Cummins, a former teacher at her school in Maury County, Tennessee. On March 17th, the TBI added the 50-year-old to the state’s ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list.

This morning, authorities from Siskiyou County located the Nissan Rogue in which the pair were traveling and later located the pair. Cummins surrendered without incident. Thomas was subsequently recovered by law enforcement officers. At the time of this release, efforts to reunite her with her family remained ongoing.

“Our Intelligence Analysts and Agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this AMBER Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end. We are extremely thankful the hard work of all partners in this search has paid off. We’re also grateful for the public’s support and vigilance throughout this search effort.”

The TBI has been assisted in this search by a variety of law enforcement agencies across the country, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Maury County Sheriff’s Department, and the Office of 22nd District Attorney General Brent Cooper.

At the time of this release, Cummins, 50, remained in the custody of the Siskiyou County (CA) Sheriff’s Department without bond, awaiting extradition to Tennessee to face charges of Sexual Contact with a Minor and Aggravated Kidnapping.

A booking photograph was not immediately available for release.

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