22 March, 2017
The teen, Elizabeth Thomas was last seen at a Shoney's restaurant in her hometown Columbia around 7:30 a.m. on March 13 and is believed to have been kidnapped by Tad Cummins, a 50-year-old former teacher at her school in Maury County.
Another student reported the alleged clinch between 50-year-old Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas, but he was allowed to continue working.
The TBI has received approximately 250 tips as of Sunday from 24 states, including Tennessee.
Cummins is believed to be armed with two handguns and is driving a silver Nissan Rogue with the Tennessee license plate 976-ZPT.
A warrant has been issued for Cummins for Sexual Contact with a Minor and Aggravated Kidnapping.
We're continuing to track down every possible detail leading up to the disappearance of Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas. The TBI has issued a second Amber Alert for the girl and investigators believe Cummins may have abducted the girl to "potentially sexually exploit her".
Surveilleance video from March 13 show Cummins putting gas in his auto at a local gas station around after 8 a.m. that day.
"We firmly believe that they are essentially off the grid and Cummins has her out of public view", he says, urging the public to search their properties, local camp grounds, rural areas and parking garages.
A week has gone by and still, no sign of a 15-year-old girl from Columbia, Tennessee.
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Whatley wrote a letter to the school on February 6, expressing concern that the school wasn't doing enough to protect Elizabeth from Cummins.
Elizabeth was assigned to be removed from Cummins' class as a result of the report.
However, Teacher 1 said she never witnessed anything inappropriate, and Cummins' door was always open when students were in his classroom, according to the report. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings, authorities said.
Even though two Amber Alerts have been issued, the authorities are still no closer to finding Thomas and her abductor.
On Friday, Cummins' wife Jill spoke to her husband directly in an emotional statement at the Maury Country Sheriff's Office in Tennessee: "Tad, this is not you".
He began teaching at Culleoka Unit School in 2011, according to school records obtained by NBC News, and taught Thomas' freshman forensics class. Cummins was sacked on the day that he and Elizabeth Thomas went missing.
"I had no idea my husband was involved with anything that has led to all this". The family attorney says that the teacher is looking for a weakness in Elizabeth Thomas, something predators are known for. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 lbs., with brown hair and eyes. This is not who you are. "Stay vigilant, stay alert, and let us know if you spot these individuals or this vehicle".
The teenage girl is described as being white with blond hair and hazel eyes, and is 5 foot 5 inches and 120 pounds. Authorities say even if a witness calls in about spotting a vehicle with a Tennessee license plate can give them enough to work with.