Tennessee teacher planned to take 15-year-old girl to Mexico

Kat Bozeman said the family is focusing on the recovery of her teenage sister after Thomas had been kidnapped.

Thomas had disappeared in March.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office charges Cummins began a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student, lied about it, stole his wife’s vehicle, and took the girl to Siskyiou County in northern California.

“I’m not allowed to ask her about things that happened along the way right now”, he said.

Thomas’ father has told news media he believes his daughter was brainwashed. Her family has been treading lightly with her ever since. Now that she has been reunited with her family, we will no longer identify her in our stories.

“When you take a child who is underage and you have not gotten permission from their parents, that’s kidnapping”, Anthony Thomas tells PEOPLE. We did so to help authorities rescue her.

“It was more important to have her back. She was the life of the party”.

But Cummins’ attorney, public defender Ben Galloway, told a very different story, saying Thomas went willingly with Cummins. Visitation with family and friends in the institution are now limited.

“He’s done this awful thing, that he has to pay for”, she told NBC News. “We’ll make sure she’ll get what therapy she needs and that she’s safe, that she knows she’s safe”. Authorities had been investigating Cummins in connection with alleged inappropriate sexual behavior, so he fled because “he did not want to await the outcome”, according to federal court documents.

Tad Cummins is charged with kidnapping 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas, having a sexual relationship with her, and keeping her hidden for more than a month before being discovered.

“Sometimes she’ll be happy and laughing and back to the same old girl, and sometimes she’ll be in a fetal position crying”.

They were spotted kissing at the school earlier this year, and the situation began to spiral.

The criminal complaint states that Cummins stopped in Oklahoma twice, booking hotel rooms in his own name and even listing his phone number.

Siskiyou County sheriff’s Capt. Karl Houtman said in an interview with The Bee on Monday that Cummins and the girl first drove to Berkeley before heading north. And he wanted to take Elizabeth with him. “It was kind of a roller coaster of emotions for her”.

At Cummins’ arraignment on Monday, prosecutors in Sacramento said he planned to take the girl to Mexico in a boat, and possibly further into South America.

Part of the investigation may include evidence gathered from the cabin in Cecilville, California where Cummins and his student Elizabeth Thomas were staying. An AMBER Alert was issued across the state of Tennessee the following day, and Cummins was added to the TBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list on March 17.

Quinn also provided some insight into what could have prompted Cummins to run away with Elizabeth.

Their hunch was ultimately correct. They did not have any apparatus for cooking or preparing food. He picked up the phone and called the police.

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