An ambert alert has been issued for Elizabeth Thomas, 15, who Tennessee authorities believe went missing with Tad Cummins (not pictured), a 50 year old teacher who was accussed of sexual misconduct with Thomas.
As WKRN reported, Cummins was already facing charges after he was sacked from Culleoka Unit School for allegedly having sexual interactions with Thomas.
"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. She was last seen wearing leggings and a flannel shirt. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.
A friend dropped off the teen Monday at a restaurant in Columbia, Tennessee, near the high school, law enforcement authorities said; the restaurant is about 45 miles south of Nashville. "In fact, it only heightens it", investigators said.
Elizabeth Thomas, 15, is believed to be in the company of Tad Cummins, 50.
As People reports, Jill claims that she didn't have a clue that her husband "was involved with anything that could have led to this". The latter claim stems from an alleged sexual interaction between him and Thomas in January on school property. Her family conducted a candlelight vigil this weekend, holding out hope they'll see her again. Tad Cummins disappeared along with Elizabeth Thomas on Monday, and surveillance video from a gas station in Decatur, Alabama, appears to show Cummins there that day, reports the Tennessean.
The family of the missing Middle Tennessee teen at the center of a nationwide Amber Alert made a plea for her safe return. "This is not who you are". Another family member added, "Bring her back to us or allow her to call and let us know she is ok".
Authorities are warning former high school teacher Tad Cummins is armed with two handguns and should be considered unsafe.
An update on the case released Thursday indicated Cummins might have been "abusing his role" as a teacher to groom Thomas to lure and potentially sexually exploit the girl, described as 5-foot-5 and 120 pounds with blond hair and hazel eyes. A $1,000 reward is available for information leading to Tad Cummins' arrest.