Tennessee Teacher Suspected in 15-Year-Old's Kidnapping Arrested; Teen Found Safe

Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins has been arrested and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas has been found safe in northern California the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tweeted Thursday

Authorities: Tennessee student, teacher found in California

A fugitive former teacher and the teenage student he abducted have been found in northern California after a six-week-long nationwide manhunt, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Thursday.

Investigators said the area where Elizabeth Thomas and Cummins were found is very remote with little or no cell service.

Surveillance video showed the pair at a Walmart in Oklahoma City on March 15. But then the trail has gone cold. Cummins was subsequently placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's top 10 "most wanted" list.

Cummins, the federal complaint says, is charged with taking a minor across states lines to have sex.

The caller said Cummins had taken up residence in Cecilville, about two hours from the nearest police station.

Elizabeth Thomas was found safe in a remote cabin in Cecilville, northwest of Redding.

Authorities reportedly watched the area for several hours and arrested Cummins Thursday morning at daybreak.

Officials said Thomas is "healthy and unharmed", but they are concerned about her emotional and mental condition.

Cummins is facing three charges: aggravated kidnapping, sexual contact with a minor, and transporting a minor across state lines to have sexual intercourse.

Thomas is expected to be back in Tennessee with her family today.

"As we have said from the start, it only takes one tip", Gwyn said.

Bozeman also told News 2 the family is absolutely elated she was found, and federal agents said it would be about a day before they can see the 15-year-old again.

In addition to the state charges he was already facing, Cummins now faces a charge of transportation of a minor across state lines for the goal of having criminal sexual intercourse, which carries at least a 10 year prison sentence.

A drunk driver was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in the deadly hit and run case at Bay Shore, New York.

Just before noon, the TBI confirmed Cummins had been arrested and the girl was safe.

On the morning the pair went missing, the affidavit says Cummins lied to his wife, telling her he had a job interview and needed to borrow her vehicle, the 2015 Nissan Rogue.

"I've been telling people all along she is in a commune, because most kidnap victims are held in small counties and no one recognizes them", she said.

Osborne's sister, Ashlee Conner, 26, added that if they could say one thing to their father, they would remind him of a Bible verse that he taught them growing up.

That morning, Cummins' wife reported to the sheriff's office that her husband hadn't come home the night before, records show. "I'm not aware that they had ever been there".

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