Teacher Abducts Former Student; Authorities Believe Abduction Was Planned

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald March 20, 05:05 am

A 15-year-old teenager went missing last Monday in Tennessee and authorities claimed her former teacher might have abducted her. The police added the teacher could have planned the abduction ahead of time.

The student, identified as Elizabeth Thomas, went missing at around 7:30 or 8 a.m. last week at a Shoney's restaurant located in Columbia, Tennessee. A friend dropped Thomas off at the area.

During the same time, surveillance video captured the teacher, 50-year-old Tad Cummins, filling up his Nissan Rogue at a gas station near the restaurant where the teen was last seen. The car was said to be the same vehicle he used to travel with the teenager, ABC News reported. 

In the reports about the case, police described the situation as dangerous as Cummins is believed to have two handguns with him and Thomas is said to be in imminent danger. Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland said, "What scares us about Mr. Cummins is he's sort given up his life at this point. The girl is just 15."

Rowland added someone spotted the student and the teacher kissing earlier this year. The alleged kissing was on Jan. 24 but other details about the matter remained unknown. The Maury County Public Schools and the Maury County Sheriff's Department launched an investigation regarding the kissing. After the investigation, they suspended then dismissed the health sciences teacher at Culleoka Unit School.

Authorities guessed Cummins might have plotted the abduction after his dismissal from the school. But it was unclear how long has the teacher tried to lure or flirt with the teen.

The father of the missing teenager released a statement saying he believes his daughter is still alive. Anthony said she is one of his 10 children and described Thomas as affable and athletic but vulnerable, New York Daily News shared. Thomas reportedly told her father that Cummins said he worked for the CIA in the past but Anthony cautioned his teen daughter not to believe such.

The father also pleaded to his daughter saying they all love her and they miss her. He added their home is not the same without her and they do not want to go on without her.

Cummins is currently wanted on allegations of aggravated kidnapping. He is also accused of having sexual contact with a minor.

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