Missing Tennessee student found alive in Northern California

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The student, Elizabeth Thomas, was found safe in a commune in Cecilville, near the OR border, her sister Kat Thomas said.

Thomas was the subject of a Tennessee Amber Alert issued March 14 after having been kidnapped a day earlier by Cummins, a former teacher at her school in Maury County, Tennessee, the release states.

Cummins and his 15-year-old former student Elizabeth Thomas were found in a remote cabin near Cecilville, California, on Thursday, after a tipster saw the pair and contacted the authorities, TBI spokesperson Josh Devine told PEOPLE. Another student reported seeing the married teacher kissing Thomas at the school, which is about 60 miles south of Nashville.

About 9:30 p.m. Wednesday Barry called the owner of the cabin and told him he thought the pair were Cummins and Elizabeth. "(Thomas) advised that Cummins possibly held both of her hands around the wrist area and may have been close to her face at the time, telling her she needed to calm down".

Cummins was jailed without bond in Yreka and was due to be arraigned on Friday, authorities said.

"He is charged with transportation of a minor across state lines for the objective of sexual intercourse", Smith said.

California is also charging Cummins with kidnapping and possession of stolen property. Instead, Judge Camille Buras gave him 15 years for shooting Racquel Smith in the legs, to be served at the same time. Police say the gunman walked up to the two male workers for Laclede Gas and began shooting, then turned the gun on himself.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert for Thomas of Columbia, Tenn., after her parents reported her missing March 13.

Cummins' wife later returned home to discover a note from her husband, in which he said he was heading to Virginia Beach or Washington to "clear his head".

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"In my head I'm thinking he had a house fire and lost everything", he said.

Tad Cummins was Elizabeth Thomas's teacher. "We'll make sure she'll get what therapy she needs and that she's safe, that she knows she's safe".

Authorities say the girl is apparently healthy and unharmed.

Cummins was Thomas' 50-year-old high-school teacher at Culleoka Unit School in Maury County, Tenn.

In a shocking turn of events, Tad's wife Jill Cummins and his daughters publicly begged for him to bring Elizabeth home to safety. The teacher, however, acknowledged that the girl was "a really good friend and she does leave her other classes to come see him when she needs someone to calm her down", according to a school report dated January 30. The other then would log in, read the message, delete it and write a reply, again saving it as a draft, he said.

The report went on to say Cummins even threatened her with "repercussions" at school in order for her to go out with him.

"Jill will attempt to move forward with her life", attorney Michael Cox said in a statement provided to ABC News on March 31.

Cummins and the student visited a Wal-Mart when they were in Oklahoma.

Barry said on Thursday that Cummins and Elizabeth showed up Tuesday.

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