Tad Cummins, the Tennessee teacher believed to be on the flight with the 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas, may have fled to Mexico with the girl, investigators say. Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper tells ABC News that the 50-year-old Cummins, who allegedly kidnapped Elizabeth more than two weeks ago, is a “religious man” that may occur as a missionary.
“He was planning this in such a way that he is a 24-hour head start, easily enough time for him to make it to Mexico,” Cooper says.
He urges the members of the public to share with the Amber Alert, the family is in Mexico and Central America. More than 1,100 tips have been received in the US, but no one has proceeded, researchers say.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn said that it would be a mistake to describe the relationship between Cummins and Thomas as “romantic,” the Tennessean reports.
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“Let me be clear. She is 15, a child. He is 50, a grown man,” Gwyn said. “This is, and not a romance. This was manipulation only to benefit Tad Cummins. This is not a fairy tale. This is a case of kidnapping.”
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