Wednesday 16 August 2017

Teen 'kidnapped by armed teacher' still missing more than a week on

Elizabeth Thomas (15) (Image via TBI)
Elizabeth Thomas (15) (Image via TBI)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The search for a teen believed to have been kidnapped by her teacher is ongoing more than a week after her disappearance.

Elizabeth Thomas (15) is missing from Tennessee and an amber alert has been issued by police.

She has been missing since Monday, March 13 and is believed to have been kidnapped by 50-year-old Tad Cummins, a former teacher at her school in Maury County.

It is believed that Cummins is armed with two handguns.

Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins (Image: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins (Image: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

A week ago, the school district in Maury County terminated Cummins in the wake of an ongoing investigation into alleged inappropriate contact he had with Thomas at the school earlier this year.

Police have uncovered a "troubling pattern" of behaviour on the teacher's part before the aleged kidnapping.

For example he researched teen marriage.

He also searched for information to determine if his car, a Nissan Rogue could be tracked by law enforcement.

Local media is reporting that the pair were seen kissing by another student in his classroom.

On Monday 20, police from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released surveillance video, captured on March 7th, showing Tad Cummins shopping for hair dye at the Walmart in Columbia but have now determined that it was not connected to plans to change his appearance or his former students.

Property owners have been asked to search their properties and vigilant for signs of the pair as police are concerned that, despite more than 650 leads, no sightings have been reported.

A warrant has been issued for Cummins for Sexual Contact with a Minor and Aggravated Kidnapping. On Friday, the TBI added him to the state’s ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list. There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

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