Father of missing Tennessee teen found safe says she was brainwashed
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 22, 2017,
Apr 22, 2017, 8:57
Cummins and Thomas were found in a cabin in northern California, close to the OR state line, Thursday after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation received a tip late Wednesday night.
Before disappearing, Cummins was investigated by the school system when another student reported seeing the then-married teacher kiss the girl at the Culleoka Unit School.
After realizing who they were, Barry said he immediately called 911. When they reached out to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, they were informed the same person already called them.
"He was always dominating the conversation". Cummins did all the talking and said they had been at the Black Bear Ranch commune, but left because they didn't like it there, according to Barry.
"Subsequent investigation revealed that Cummins had no scheduled interview", the complaint says. Cummins was taken into custody.
The caller said Cummins had taken up residence in Cecilville, about two hours from the nearest police station.
Meanwhile, the California man who alerted law enforcement and led them to the pair told Good Morning America that several clues made him suspicious about them.
Many on social media were thrilled to hear the teenager was found and safe. Cummins was taken into custody and the girl went with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, the sheriff's office said. The teacher, however, acknowledged that the girl was "a really good friend and she does leave her other classes to come see him when she needs someone to calm her down", according to a school report dated January 30. He added that when Thomas wanted to share something she would whisper stuff in Cummins' ear and then Cummins would repeat it. In her letter, Love said the girl being in his classroom was a violation of the principal's order to him.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Jon Lopey said Elizabeth is healthy and was brought home Friday.
He said the family planned to offer Elizabeth therapy, and understood that she would need time to recover. "Finally, she's in safe hands", Banks said.
Thursday, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) director Mark Gwyn declined to address questions about whether Thomas went with Cummins willingly.
The 15-year-old reportedly told investigators she had a verbal exchange with another teacher about going to the bathroom. Detectives talk to Thomas and she said Cummins was consoling her after she had an argument with another teacher, denies kissing Cummins.
"He is charged with transportation of a minor across state lines for the goal of sexual intercourse", Smith said.
"The father told deputies he was concerned his daughter might be with Cummins", the officer wrote in court records.
Cummins was sacked from his job at Culleoka Unit School after he was named as the suspect in Thomas' disappearance.
The two became the subject of a nationwide search after he apparently lured the girl into his auto outside a restaurant in Columbia, Tennessee, about 45 miles south of Nashville.
Jill Cummins returned home that evening and found a note from her husband that explained he was making a trip to Virginia Beach or the D.C. area to clear his head.
Surveillance footage of Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas.
She filed for divorce after the manhunt began. The pair spent one night in the cabin before the arrest, but they might have been in the area for about a week, an official said. They went by fake names: "John" and "Joanna".
Tad Cummins took guns, money and his wife's auto before kidnapping the 15-year-old girl and taking her on a 2,500-mile cross-country journey that ended Thursday, court records show. The charge carries a minimum 10-year sentence. "There is no doubt that she suffered severe emotional trauma and that her process of recovery is only just beginning".