The father of Elizabeth Smart said Wednesday that he is worried that the 15-year-old Tennessee student, who is believed to have run away with her 50-year-old teacher is being manipulated.
“In our Elizabeth’s case she got her into this mindset where they believed that if they did what they did not want her to do that they would come and kill her family,” Edward Smart told WKRN-TV.
Smart added that Elizabeth Thomas’ situation can be very different than when it began.
“You just can’t imagine what there is by way of a young girl the head at this point in time,” he said. “Regardless of what Elizabeth Thomas, the situation can get started it can be very different at this point.”
Smart’s daughter Elizabeth was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Salt Lake City home in 2002. She was forced to move with her kidnappers, but was usually living off the grid before she was found.
Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland told WKRN-TV that he believes that Thomas and Tad Cummins are living off the grid somewhere.
Cummins and Thomas were reportedly seen at a gas station in Collierville, Tennessee. Thursday, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation later dismissed the report, according to Fox 13 Memphis.
Cummins is charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual behavior in the disappearance of Thomas on March 13. Thomas of Culleoka Unit School in Maury County. Cummins was suspended from the school after violating an order that prevented the child in his class.
Officials revealed earlier this week that the pair allegedly developed a “romantic” relationship and were allegedly caught kissing in a classroom. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tweeted a photo of January see Cummins and Thomas stare at each other “days before his alleged inappropriate contact with her.”