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Tennessee student found safe, teacher arrested in California

21 April 2017

"My neighbor noticed the auto didn't have a license plate and there was a girl in the vehicle that looked really young and never got out", O'Hare said. "She's a young girl with a grown man", authorities said in a news conference... you can't hide from that many millions of people".

TBI stressed how this case truly shows just how one tip can make a difference.

Cummins is wanted by authorities on charges including aggravated kidnapping.

The TBI has been assisted in this search by a variety of law enforcement agencies across the country, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Maury County Sheriff's Department, and the Office of 22nd District Attorney General Brent Cooper. "They're very anxious to speak to her and hear first hand how she's doing - at the same time there's this sense of elation that really can't be described".

After five weeks on the run, a Tennessee teacher who kidnapped and fled with his 15-year-old student has been arrested in California, authorities said.

Currently, state law allows children over 12-year-old to decide on their own whether to leave their family. Thomas was subsequently recovered by officers, and efforts to reunite her with her family are ongoing.

Cummins and Thomas had been missing since March 13, when an Amber Alert was issued.

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Cummins and Thomas disappeared on March 13, sparking a cross-country manhunt made all the more hard as Cummins apparently changed his appearance and may have switched out the license plate on the vehicle he was driving, according to reports.

Cummins also faces one count of sexual contact with a minor from an incident that allegedly happened earlier this year.

Tad Cummins was arrested Thursday after a almost two-month search.

"This is not somewhere they had frequently visited", her attorney said.

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

The only reported sightings of Elizabeth following her disappearance were still images from surveillance cameras at a Walmart in Oklahoma City, taken two days after the teen was reported missing.

"He said he was on his last $10, so I gave him $40 and told him how to get to a commune up in the mountains", Barry said.

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Rep. Sheila Butt, a Republican state lawmaker who represents Columbia, said Thursday was a great day for her community.

Barry said on Thursday that Cummins and Elizabeth showed up Tuesday.

Thomas was also found safe and unharmed, authorities said.

The girl's father said that he is overjoyed that his daughter has been found safe, and he can't wait to tell her that he loves her.

That night, Jill came home to a note written by her husband, saying he went to Virginia Beach or the DC area to "clear his head" but that he'd be back, court papers say.

The report went on to say Cummins even threatened her with "repercussions" at school in order for her to go out with him. Police investigated the area for around a week and a half, and when they were certain it was indeed Cummins, they arrested him.

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