Missing Teen Kidnapped by Teacher

Missing Teen Kidnapped by Teacher

Nora Cooper, Writer

There is a nationwide manhunt for Tad Cummins, a teacher from Culleoka, Tennessee accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old student weeks after he was investigated for kissing her in the classroom.


Both the teacher and the student, Elizabeth Thomas, have been missing since March 13.


Back in January, during the school’s investigation of the relationship between Elizabeth and Cummins after the reported kissing incident, Elizabeth said that would go to Cummins classroom when was upset of anxious. She denied that they ever kissed and said that she had been to church with him and his wife. She also claimed that Cummins never touched her inappropriately.


Cummins also denied the allegations, but Elizabeth was later removed from his class, according to the school district.


Later, in February, Cummins was informed that he was to be suspended without pay, “pending an investigation.”


On March 13, it was a professional development day for teachers, so there was no school for students. Elizabeth told a sibling that she was leaving and that if she was not home by 6 p.m, to call the police.


Just before 8 a.m, a friend dropped Elizabeth off at a restaurant in Columbia, about 45 miles south of Nashville. Just after 8 a.m., surveillance cameras revealed Cummins pumping gas nearby, according to authorities. By that afternoon, authorities suspected that the two were about 80 miles away in Decatur, Alabama.


Then, they vanished.


The Maury County Sheriff’s Department entered Elizabeth as “missing” in a national law enforcement database, according to the TBI.


On March 14, an Amber Alert was issued and Cummins was officially fired from the school.


Since then, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations have received around 650 leads on the case, but with very few having any credibility and no confirmed sightings.