A former teacher accused of abducting a 15-year-old pupil has been arrested after more than a month on the run. The Maury County Public Schools Facebook post comes in the wake of complaints from the girl's family that the school system did not respond properly after a student at the Culleoka Unit School reported seeing teacher Tad Cummins kissing the 15-year-old student.
The Nissan Rogue used by former Middle Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins has been found in northern California, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office.
Then, nothing. After their disappearance, investigators said they had received hundreds of tips from 24 states, but not enough information to tighten the dragnet despite a multi-state manhunt and Cummins' addition to Tennessee's most wanted list.
Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kelly Giordano said earlier Thursday that Cummins' vehicle was found in their California jurisdiction Wednesday night.
Cummins and Thomas both disappeared March 13 from Columbia, Tennessee, as the local school board was conducting an investigation into their relationship. The school district previously investigated Cummins after a student reported seeing Cummins kiss Thomas at school.
Tad Cummins, 50, had been sought for a month after he went missing with the teen, Elizabeth Thomas. He also faces federal charges and California charges of kidnapping and possession of stolen property.
Ms Cummins later filed for divorce. "Just release her. Drop her off somewhere, somewhere safe, somewhere where she can be found and let her get back home to her family, and we'll worry about what's going to happen to you later". "We couldn't be happier to tell you she will soon be on her way back home".
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After the capture, Cummins was charged with one federal count of transportations of a minor across state lines for the goal of criminal sexual intercourse, said Jack Smith, acting U.S. attorney for Middle District of Tennessee.
He said the family trusts that justice will come for Cummins and want to focus on their daughter. Court records show that Jill Cummins sued her then-missing husband on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and inappropriate marital conduct.
Authorities have been searching for the pair since March, when an Amber Alert was issued.
Jason Whatley, the attorney representing Elizabeth Thomas' family, said the teen underwent a medical interview and a forensics interview before getting on the plane. "They're very anxious to speak to her and hear first hand how she's doing - at the same time there's this sense of elation that really can't be described". Authorities said that surveillance images showed that Cummins' hair appeared to be darker than usual, indicating that he was intentionally altering his image to avoid capture.
The 50-year-old already faced one count of kidnapping in the case, which has since been upgraded to aggravated kidnapping. The couple has two children together.
"Gathering as many details as possible to share", TBI wrote in a tweet.
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