Federal complaint on Tad Cummins’ alleged sex crimes — GRAPHIC
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Amber Alert suspect Tad Cummins has been arrested, and the teen he is accused of kidnapping, Elizabeth Thomas, is safe.
It came from a caller who told investigators that the 50-year-old Cummins and the teenager he is accused of abducting might be living in a remote cabin near Cecilville, Calif., a onetime mining town about 100 miles from the OR border.
Teacher Tad Cummins took guns, money and his wife’s auto before kidnapping a 15-year-old female student and taking her on a 2,500-mile cross-country journey that ended Thursday, court records show.
Cummins, who is now at the Sacramento County Main Jail, will first face arraignment on that charge in the federal court in Sacramento, before facing a host of state and local charges back in Tennessee.
Authorities said the student, Elizabeth Thomas, has been “safely recovered”.
He says he met the two around Tuesday evening. But they’d been in the heavily wooded area 60 miles south of the OR line since at least last week, according to Griffin Barry, the man who says he eventually helped police capture Cummins. He said Thursday he didn’t want to talk about the teacher, Tad Cummins, who is accused of kidnapping the girl.
He called 911 to tell police. “I gave him $40 and put gas in his tank”.
Authorities say the girl is apparently healthy and unharmed. Cummins was Elizabeth’s high school teacher at Culleoka Unit School in Maury County, Tenn. “That kind of clues people in”, Barry said.
Cummins and Thomas were seen on security footage at a Walmart in Oklahoma City on March 15, but had not been spotted since, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations initially said the two had been found on a commune, but later said they were discovered in a cabin. When Cummins went outside, investigators were there to arrest him, O’Hare said.
Two loaded handguns were found in the cabin, along with other personal items belonging both to Cummins and Thomas.
Cummins is being held without bond at the Siskiyou County Jail, Giordano said.
Cummins is now in federal custody in California and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday. Elizabeth was walking behind him and was detained.
The 15 year-old Tennessee girl who disappeared with him more than a month ago has been found safe in California. The caretaker reports that Thomas would not get out of the vehicle and would only communicate by whispering in Cummins’ ear. But after that, the trail went cold.
The complaint alleges Cummins left a note for his wife on March 13 saying he was leaving for a while to “clear his head”.
“It only takes one tip“, Gwyn said.
Cummins faces charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping, the TBI said last month.
A TBI plane is supposed to fly the girl back home.
Speaking on ABC News’ Good Morning America program Friday morning from Tennessee, Anthony Thomas, the girl’s father, said he was looking forward to seeing Elizabeth later in the day when officials fly her back.
In a news release, the TBI said Cummins might be keeping Elizabeth out of sight of authorities, possibly sleeping in his auto or in a rural community.
“It was a very traumatic experience for her. He said she was 24, and he said he was 38”.
The sheriff said the girl showed no signs of elation when she and Cummins were found. He let them spend the night in the cabin because they said they were broke. “She has not spoken to Tad”.
Cummins’ wife told authorities on March 14 that her husband wanted to get the loan “to meet their financial needs during his suspension from work without pay”. He said the girl was at times “laughing, crying and acting stoic” after police found her at the remote cabin. The lawyer said Thomas has been in touch with them, but wouldn’t elaborate on the conversation. “I was like, whatever, they’re on hard times or something”.