A Tennessee teacher was added to the state’s most wanted list Friday as authorities continue to search for him and a missing 15-year-old girl he’s accused of kidnapping.
As reported by The Tennessean, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation suggested Tad Cummins “may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom this vulnerable young girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her,” a statewide AMBER alert update from the TBI said. The agency added Cummins to the state’s top 10 most wanted list Friday.
An AMBER Alert was issued for 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas Monday.
District Attorney General Brent Cooper said Cummins will now be charged with the aggravated kidnapping of Thomas, in addition to charges he faces for an interaction that took place with her at the high school in which he taught and she was a student.
Cummins was suspended by the school when the Maury County Sheriff’s Department began investigating him for sexual contact with a minor and formally dismissed him Tuesday.
Thomas is described as white with blond hair and hazel eyes. She is 5′ 5″ and 120 lbs.
She was last seen when she was dropped off at a Shoney’s restaurant in Columbia between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m. on Monday.
Cummins is described as white with brown hair and brown. He is 6′ and weighs 200 lbs. He drives a silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee license plate of 976ZPT.
Surveillance video shows Cummins at a nearby gas station getting fuel, which places Thomas in the vicinity of Decatur, Ala., just after 3 p.m. Monday, according to the TBI.
Anyone with information regarding Thomas’ disappearance should call 911.