#TNAMBERAlert: She’s a high school freshman. He was a teacher accused of kidnapping her. Let’s find her now! UPDATE: https://tbinewsroom.com/2017/03/18/amber-alert-update-3-elizabeth-thomas/ …
After a week of searching for 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas and ex-teacher Tad Cummins, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has received more than 350 tips but no solid leads on the Amber Alert.
However, new details released about the relationship between the girl and her suspected abductor continue to suggest Cummins, 50, was grooming and luring Thomas long before their disappearances, authorities said. Amber Alerts have been issued in Alabama and Tennessee.
Cummins’ wife spoke at a press conference this past weekend, urging the man to surrender.
About two months ago, Thomas and Cummins were caught kissing in his classroom at Culleoka Unit School in Maury County, Tennessee, where the teen was a freshman, according to documents obtained by WKRN News 2. Thomas was a health sciences teacher.
After another student saw and reported what was described as a “peck” on the lips, school officials failed to notify Thomas’ parent, according to the documents published by the Nashville TV station.
In a Feb. 6 letter to the school system, an attorney for Thomas’ father said the incident wasn’t revealed to her parent until a week after the kiss when a sheriff’s detective contacted him about an investigation. The kiss reportedly occurred on Jan. 23. The letter was sent by attorney S. Jason Whatley, of Columbia, Tennessee.
In an interview with school officials, Thomas and Cummins denied the kiss but said they maintained a friendly relationship. Thomas was removed from Cummins’ class, and the two were told to stay away from each other, according to the letter.
When Thomas was seen in Cummins classroom on Feb. 3, the teacher was suspended, the letter states.
Cummins wasn’t fired by the school system until this past Tuesday, the day after he and Thomas went missing.
“To make matters worse, it appears that this issue is being readily discussed by faculty members, and on at least one recent occasion, in a derogatory tone about Mr. Thomas’ daughter,” the letter states.
Josh Devine, a spokesman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said he couldn’t comment on the letter or the incidents that allegedly occurred at the school.
However, warrants have been issued for Cummins’ arrest on accusations he had sexual contact with Thomas. Cummins also is being charged with kidnapping.
Cummins was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Top 10 Most Wanted list Friday.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY AL.COM