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.”