Tennessee Amber Alert: Tip leads authorities to Tad Cummins, Elizabeth Thomas in California


A nationwide Amber Alert manhunt has ended after investigators said they got a tip last night that led them to a remote province in the North of California, where the 50-year-old teacher Tad Cummins and 15-year-old girl he accused of kidnapping, Elizabeth Thomas, had recently taken up residence in a hut.

The caller told the local officials the pair had traveled to a very rural, isolated town called Cecilville with limited cell phone service. But the caller had spotted their vehicle, that is what the local police in Siskiyou County them.

“We could not be happier to tell you she will soon be on her way back home. This morning, authorities as a result of a tip from late last night and found Elizabeth. Tad is faced with a set of costs that could him behind bars for many years,” said Mark Gwyn, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the authority that issued the Amber Alert, more than a month ago. “To the public, I can’t say how thankful we are for all your tips, comments, and support.”

“We are very happy. We are very happy,” said Jason Whatley, the attorney for Elizabeth Thomas in the family. Words can not express the feelings that we have.”

Whatley said the family is awaiting a phone call from the TBI that will bring them in contact with Elizabeth. The teen is currently in the custody of the FBI, and the family wants to speak to their daughter for the first time, before they make any statements.


Officials said that they plan to no help on the teen girl that she could, with mention of groups that help children who are victims of abuse.

“Agents are currently flying on TBI airplane to get there as quickly as possible, and finally bringing Elizabeth home,” said Gwyn. “She comes flying home on TBI airplane.”

“It is a good afternoon in Tennessee ‘. TBI news conf announces the safe recovery of Elizabeth Thomas in CA.

— Susan Niland (@TBISusanNiland) April 20, 2017

The girl of the family lawyer, said that he believes that they will be flown back home to California in the morning.


Cummins and Thomas disappeared on March 13, sparking a cross-country manhunt complicated as Cummins, apparently, changed his appearance and may have switched out the license plate on the vehicle he was driving, according to reports. Court papers filed recently in the girl’s disappearance showed she was afraid of the teacher and thought she would be faced with the consequences at school if she resisted him.

The researchers were inundated with more than 1,500 tips from the public as the matter gained national attention.

Cummins was fired from his job amid an investigation into alleged inappropriate contact with Thomas.

The father of a 15-year-old Tennessee girl who disappeared with her teacher, more than a month ago, says that he is happy that his daughter found safe.

The father tells WSMV-TV that his daughter is probably going to be hungry and that he can’t wait to tell her that he loves her. He said Thursday that he doesn’t want to talk about the teacher, who is accused of the kidnapping of the girl.

The father says that he is going to have to figure out what kind of state of mind is his daughter and it’s a long road to recovery.

Jack Smith, acting chief prosecutor of the V. S. for the middle district of Tennessee, said his office filed federal against Cummins: the transport of a minor across borders for the purpose of having criminal intercourse. The teacher faced with the possibility of 10 years in prison, only for that cost.

The police earlier said they have warrants charging the teacher with sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping.

Court papers filed recently in the girl’s disappearance and said that she was afraid of the teacher and thought she would be faced with the consequences at school if she resisted him.

A lawyer of the girl’s family has said that the teacher was allowed to continue working at the school for two weeks after he was reported, the kissing of the girl. Lawyer Jason Whatley has said that the school should not be believed that the student report.

The school’s research files to The Corresponding press release of the minister it appears that both the Cummins and the girl refused to kiss. The teacher, however, recognized that the girl was “a really good friend and she does leave her other classes to come to see him when she needed someone to calm her down,” says a school report of Jan. 30.

The report recommended that the girl be taken from Cummins’ class, and that he was reprimanded to keep his professional responsibility. The report recommends that the administration monitor Cummins’ classroom to ensure that students weren’t there when they were not intended to be.

The teacher would later be reprimanded on Feb. 3 per head of the school after the Love after the girl was seen in the Cummins class for a little more than half an hour on that day. In her letter, Love, said the girl in his class was a violation of the client to him.

The school system not to suspend Cummins to Feb. 6. He was discharged, a month later, a day after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has an Amber Alert about the teenager.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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