Few details were available during the press conference about the cabin where the two were found and TBI agents are flying to the site to investigate and gather evidence.
"Evidence has surfaced that (Elizabeth) became fearful of Cummins' reaction to his suspension and her belief that he would punish her in some way for it", a court filing says. 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. On March 17, the TBI added the 50-year-old to the state's "Top 10 Most Wanted" list. Thomas was subsequently rescued.
"Elizabeth Thomas is in a safe location with family and friends where she is comfortable and resting".
"This is why we have the Amber Alert system, so when we have a situation like this with a missing child in imminent danger, the public knows exactly what to do". Cummins surrendered without incident.
At the time of the release, efforts to reunite Thomas with her family were ongoing. Cummins said they were running out of gas, food and money and they needed a place to stay, Barry told "GMA".
After the kiss was reported, the school system order Cummins and Thomas not to have any contact.
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The school system didn't suspend Cummins until February 6. A citizen spotted Cummins' silver Nissan Rogue in northern California and alerted authorities.
His wife of more than 30 years, Jill Cummins, reported him missing to authorities after finding a note at their home. Investigators later determined the interview was not actually scheduled.
The day Tad Cummins vanished with Elizabeth Thomas, he wrote a letter to his wife claiming he was traveling from Tennessee to Washington D.C.
About 36 hours later, Barry said he saw a picture of Cummins and called 911. He denied the allegations in the school investigation and asked his wife to forgive him.
The two were found hours after a 11 p.m. tip from a California man who said he spotted the vehicle the two were said to be traveling in, authorities said.
"The father told deputies he was concerned his daughter might be with Cummins", the officer wrote in court records.
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Cummins was in the custody of the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department without bond on Thursday while he awaited extradition to Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The report recommended that the girl be taken out of Cummins' class and that he be reprimanded to uphold his professional responsibility.
In fact, Cummins and Thomas went west, not east, as investigators would later determine. The room, the report says, had only one bed.
"This is not somewhere they had frequently visited", her attorney said.
A northern California man said his property caretaker and a quick-thinking neighbor hatched a plan to keep Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas in their sights after the duo showed up on his property. When they reached out to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, they were informed the same person already called them.
The teen and her family are expected to stay secluded for the next several days. That offense carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Cummins faces state charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor as well as a federal charge of taking a minor across state lines to have sex.
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"Because this affidavit is being submitted for a limited goal, I have set forth only those facts necessary to establish probable cause for the offense", Hardison wrote in the complaint.
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