Teenage Girl, Teacher Who Vanished in March Found in Northern California

Elizabeth Thomas

Elizabeth Thomas

He was arrested without incident on Thursday morning as he emerged from a small, rustic cabin in the mountains of rural Siskiyou County, California, about 60 miles (100 km) south of the OR border, county Sheriff Jon Lopey told reporters in nearby Yreka. A news conference is set for 3 p.m.in Nashville.

Right now, investigators are gathering more information about the Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student.

Cummins was Thomas' 50-year-old high-school teacher at Culleoka Unit School in Maury County, Tenn. Authorities say the pair was found at a cabin in Cecilville, which is about 120 miles south of the OR state line.

The father of a Middle Tennessee teenager found in northern California this week with her former 50-year-old teacher after being missing for almost six weeks says he thinks his daughter was brainwashed.

After a nationwide manhunt located the missing teen, her sister said she had a feeling that she would be found in that type of living situation. "We've gotta get her the help she needs". However, now that she has been found, we at WPSD are following what is also the Associated Press' policy and not naming her.

Court papers filed recently in the girl's disappearance say she was afraid of the teacher and thought she would face repercussions at school if she resisted him. A student reportedly witnessed him kiss Thomas while at school in late January. "Her mood was very alternating", Gilley said.

Cummins and Thomas went back to the property Barry tends and he said they could stay in his cabin if they agreed to work on the property.

As daylight broke, Cummins was taken into custody, Devine said. In her letter, Love said the girl being in his classroom was a violation of the principal's order to him.

"The news of Elizabeth Thomas' safe return is wonderful news for our community, and now, we can begin healing as a community, school district and as families touched by the AMBER alert".

The pair was the subject of an ongoing AMBER Alert, and investigators had said they were "off the grid".

"Our intelligence analysts and agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this AMBER Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states", TBI director Mark Gwyn said in a statement published by The Tennessean newspaper. They were last spotted by a Walmart surveillance camera in Oklahoma City on March 15, two days after they disappeared from Columbia, Tenn., almost 700 miles away.

The man who killed retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith and wounded his wife during a traffic dispute last year was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for manslaughter, far less than the maximum prosecutors had called for. 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.

Thomas was reported missing March 13.

"When something like this happens, a community gets together and feels like this is one of our children", Butt said. The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department had received the same tip.

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