Teen and accused kidnapper spotted in Oklahoma

ajc.com

According to police, a Tennessee teen who went missing March 13 has been spotted in Oklahoma. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has said that the image, which was taken with a surveillance camera at an Oklahoma City Walmart, first turned up on March 15. However, they did not receive a tip about the picture until March 23.

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Tad Cummins, 50, is suspected of kidnapping 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas and is currently at large and facing allegations related to kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. A lawyer for Thomas' family told ABC that the image of Thomas and Cummins is "very scary," saying, "She looks subservient to him, walking behind him, looking to him."

Cummins was a teacher at the school that Thomas attended, and before the pair disappeared, there were reports that they were acting inappropriately. One student even reported seeing the pair kissing -- a claim that they both denied. A lawyer for Cummins’ wife said that she has filed for divorce after being married to Tad for 31 years.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation made it clear that this is being treated as a kidnapping. The district attorney in Maury County stated, “If you see them and they look happy, that doesn’t matter. This is a serious crime.” They also said that the teacher “may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom Elizabeth … in an effort to potentially exploit her.”