Tad Cummins, a 50-year-old married teacher, was recently suspended for repeated inappropriate contact with a 15-year-old female student, who has since gone missing. Now, Cummins is on the run, reportedly armed with two handguns, but it gets worse. Surveillance video of the teacher at a grocery store has emerged, leaving her parents even more terrified after what Cummins was seen buying.
Two months ago, when Cummins and his 15-year-old student, Elizabeth Thomas, were caught kissing in his classroom, Thomas was removed from the class and the two were ordered to avoid one another. However, in February, Thomas was again spotted in Cummins’ classroom, and the teacher was suspended. The girl’s parents claim that they were not notified of the inappropriate contact until one week after it happened.
Unfortunately, things have since gone from bad to worse as the teen is now missing. Thomas was last seen on Monday at 8 am, when she had one of her friends drop her off at a restaurant parking lot in Columbia, Tennessee. Minutes earlier, Cummins filled up his silver Nissan Rogue with gasoline at a nearby gas station. Police say the pair were last seen in Alabama and are believed to be hiding out together in a remote location. The disappearance is being called a kidnapping.
Disturbing footage of Cummins at a local grocery store emerged during the investigation. It is thought that he was purchasing hair dye, presumably to disguise the girl or himself after the kidnapping.
Take a look at the chilling video, below:
n Amber Alert has been issued in the multi-state effort to find the young girl. The alert says that she is white, with blonde hair and hazel eyes, 5’5” tall and 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing an oversized flannel shirt and black leggings. She may be in the area of Decatur Alabama, the alert adds.
Descriptions of Cummins have also been released.
His silver Nissan Rogue is tagged in Tennessee, 976ZPT. Citizens who may come into contact with the man are being warned of his suspected possession of two handguns. A warrant has been issued for Cummins’ arrest for sexual contact with a minor. People with information were urged to call the MCSD at 931-375-8654 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
The girl’s parents, understandably, are frantically doing all that they can to find the girl and bring her home. “What Tad did, he stole my daughter from me, but Maury County is a big community. He didn’t just steal from me, he stole from the whole community,” Thomas’ father said at a vigil.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has determined that Cummins secured a title loan for his car and other items just prior to the disappearance. He netted $4,500 in traveling money in the transactions. The morning that Thomas vanished, Cummins posted the following words on Instagram, “Good morning all!! This is going to be an amazing day. Let’s do this!”
Our prayers go out to the girl and to her family. It is becoming more apparent all the time that Cummins planned the entire series of events, making recovery of the girl more difficult. If Cummins has been “grooming” the girl for some time, as authorities suspect, this drama could take days or weeks to play out. We pray for a speedy and safe return of the child. In the meantime, let this serve as a warning to us all. We must be vigilant with our children, not even trusting those who we once thought could be trusted.
While we hope for Thomas to be found safe, we also hope that Cummins is brought to justice. Let this poor excuse for a teacher serve as a prime example of what happens when teachers abuse their authority and trust. It’s time our nation gets tougher on perverts like this. Obviously, a slap on the wrist, in the form of suspension, is hardly enough. Had Cummins been placed behind bars where he belongs, the animal wouldn’t have had a chance to further prey on this impressionable girl.