He was Thomas's high school teacher at Culleoka Unit School in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Tad Cummins, 50, was taken into custody and Elizabeth Thomas was safely rescued in Cecilville, California, in Siskiyou County.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced Thursday at a press conference that a tip led them to the safe capture of the alleged kidnapper and his unharmed abductee, almost 2,500 miles from their hometown in Columbia, Tennessee.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation received the tip around 11 p.m. Wednesday and the caller pointed authorities to a cabin in Cecilville, a rural area near the OR border with little to no cell service, TBI Public Information Officer Joshua Devine said.
April 1, 2017: The TBI releases surveillance video of Thomas and Cummins inside an Oklahoma City Walmart from March 15 - two days after the pair vanished.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Cummins may be keeping Thomas out of sight of authorities, possibly sleeping in his auto or in a rural community.
The investigation uncovered two loaded handguns in the cabin along with various personal items belonging to both Thomas and Cummins.
Teacher faces federal charge in student case
If the press conference is not live streamed from the TBI's Facebook page, it will be streamed from their affiliates' sites. Authorities believe Cummins had groomed Thomas while she was his student before luring her away from her family in March.
Teacher, Tad Cummins faces federal charges in the Amber Alert case involving his former student. Jill has filed for divorce, saying she was betrayed by her husband and has no idea why he did what he did or went to California. In her letter, Love said the girl being in his classroom was a violation of the principal's order to him. Prosecutors will have to determine if Thomas was unlawfully removed from her home or had her freedom restricted in order to prove a kidnapping took place.
Jack Smith, the acting United States attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, said that Cummins also faces federal charges.
However, Barry called authorities Wednesday night after realizing Cummins and Thomas were the subjects of a nationwide search.
Thomas added he hadn't had the opportunity to speak with his daughter yet but plans to talk with her sometime today. She reported her husband of more than 30 years missing after finding a note at home.
-- 2:10 p.m. The school district of a missing Tennessee student who was found with her teacher in California says it is continuing its efforts to better respond to accusations of misconduct at school. The pair were found "right at the California Oregon border in a small town", that she described as a "very small commune".
Police had previously issued an Amber alert for the girl and said they had warrants charging the health sciences teacher with sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping.
Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins said he and his alleged teen kidnapping victim were a couple looking for help after losing everything in a house fire, according to the tipster who alerted authorities. He also left his two children. The agency said it would provide more details in a press conference later.
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