Health Care

Tennessee student found safe, teacher arrested in California

Elizabeth Thomas 15 and teacher Tad Cummins

"There aren't words in the English language to describe the level of relief and elation experienced by the Thomas family", said Jason Whatley, attorney for the family.

"She is excited that they were found and nobody was hurt", Cox said.

Tad Cummins has been on the run with 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas, a former student, since mid-March.

A teacher in the USA took guns, money and his wife's auto before kidnapping a 15-year-old female student and taking her on a 4000km journey that ended on Thursday, court records show.

The pair went to the commune but returned to the gas station this week, with Cummins explaining they didn't get along with people at the commune, Barry said.

They stayed at the cabin for around 36 hours before Barry became suspicious.

"My neighbor noticed the vehicle didn't have a license plate and there was a girl in the auto that looked really young and never got out", O'Hare said. "That kind of clues people in", Barry said. During that time, Barry said he didn't talk to the two of them much, but noticed Cummins tried to keep Elizabeth away from everyone else.

Whatley speculated that Cummins had planned an escape to the Northwest, referencing the citing of the two at a Walmart in Oklahoma City off Interstate 44, which leads to California.

"These two had a relationship to the extent where she didn't exhibit any anger toward him. I didn't observe any emotional distress", he said. In her letter, Love said the girl being in his classroom was a violation of the principal's order to him.

The girl was wearing trousers, a blouse and shoes when Cummins was arrested.

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The caller said he had taken up residence in a remote cabin in Cecilville, DeVine said. The lawyer said Thomas has been in touch with them, but wouldn't elaborate on the conversation.

The girl and her family members aren't being named because she is an alleged victim of a sex crime. Cummins face federal and state charges stemming from her disappearance.

He added that his daughter told him Cummins claimed to have millions of dollars and multiple pieces of property.

Cummins was sacked about a month after being suspended - a day after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert about the teen.

His wife has since filed for divorce.

On March 13, Elizabeth disappeared from her home near Columbia.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed on Thursday afternoon that Cummins was arrested and Elizabeth was safe.

The U.S. State Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Tennessee also filed a federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines with intent of having criminal sexual intercourse against Cummins, said U.S. attorney Jack Smith.

He added that he believed his daughter was brainwashed.

He was apprehended on a fugitive warrant charging him with aggravated kidnapping and unlawful sexual contact with a minor, law enforcement officials said, and was set to be arraigned on Friday in Yreka. Tad met Elizabeth in his third period class, shortly before they allegedly were spotted kissing by another student.