Former Tennessee Teacher In Custody, Student Safely Recovered

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – A former Tennessee teacher and the teenage student he was suspected of kidnapping were found in Northern California on Thursday, ending a manhunt that stretched on for more than a month, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced.

Tad Cummins, 50, was arrested and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas was “safely recovered,” TBI tweeted. Officials planned a news conference scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.

“Gathering as many details as possible to share,” TBI wrote in a tweet.

Cummins disappeared with Thomas March 13, sparking a cross-country manhunt.

Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office PIO Kelly Giordano says the capture of Tad Cummins and rescue of Elizabeth Thomas came thanks to a tip called into the department on Wednesday night, reported Fox 17.

The tip involved Cummins’ Nissan Rogue, according to Giordano. The vehicle was spotted without a license plate. A responding officer ran the VIN and discovered the vehicle belonged to the kidnap suspect.

SCSO mobilized their Special Response Team (SRT) this morning to Cecilville, where the vehicle was found. SRT officers found Cummins and Thomas at a residence located near a commune in Cecilville.

Cummins did not resist arrest and was taken into custody just after 9 a.m. Thursday morning. He is being booked at the Siskiyou County Jail located in Yreka, California, about two hours away from Cecilville.

Cummins will be held on charges of sexual conduct with a minor and aggravated kidnapping. He has a hold for his extradition to Tennessee, placed by the TBI.

(Feature image courtesy TBI Twitter)


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Kathryn Loving

Just so, from the ship’s steep side, did I hold Queequeg down there in the sea, by what is technically called in the fishery a monkey-rope, attached to a strong strip of canvas belted round his waist.

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