Father of Elizabeth Thomas opens up about daughter's rescue, return home
25 April, 2017, 12:56 | Author: Eddie Kim
The judge read Tad Cummins his charges, including transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity across state lines.
Cummins was Thomas' forensics teacher at their high school in Maury County, south of Nashville. Cummins reportedly told the tipster who called police that the girl was his 22-year-old wife.
Health sciences teacher Tad Cummins surrendered to sheriff's deputies without incident in Cecilville, California, hours after they had set up surveillance on his vehicle in the area, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.
The victim in the case has since been reunited with her family.
Tad Cummins, 50, allegedly altered his appearance, switched license plates twice, disabled the car's Global Positioning System and used various aliases for him and the teen, documents state. In furtherance of this plan, the defendant procured a small watercraft and conducted a test run to cross into Mexico across the water from San Diego.
His attorney, Benjamin Galloway, argued Monday in federal court in Sacramento that the charges "do not involve force or coercion" and that the teen went with Cummins "on her own free will", according to the Sacramento Bee.
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The man accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old girl from Columbia, TN, is now in the custody of federal authorities.
"He couldn't stand the thought of her being out there alone and him not knowing she was safe", she said.
Bozeman said, "She was abducted and she's grateful to be home".
After the pair's disappearance, investigators said they received hundreds of tips from 24 states but not enough information to tighten the dragnet, despite a multi-state manhunt and Cummins's placement on Tennessee's most-wanted list. 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. The charge carries a minimum of prison term of 10 years and a maximum of life.
Cummins left Tennessee because he was anxious about an investigation into his relationship with the girl, the court documents said.
A lawyer for the girl's family has said the teacher was allowed to continue working at the school for two weeks after he was reported kissing the girl. "But he's still my brother and I love him".
The father told News 2 he's been able to see her several times since then, saying she's relaxing little by little but "you can still tell she's very sensitive to too much going on". When she inquired about the motivations behind his actions, Quinn said that her brother did not believe that he had kidnapped Thomas.
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