He phoned police, who surrounded the cabin and busted Cummins and rescued the teenage student Thursday morning.
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said Thomas was alternately "laughing, crying and acting stoic".
The lawyer said there is no doubt the girl suffered severe emotional trauma and the process of recovery is only beginning.
Hotel companies alerted authorities that the two had checked in to motels in Oklahoma City and Guymon, Oklahoma, but they were gone by the time police got the tips, the complaint says.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department initially told ABC News that Cummins was expected to be arraigned Friday afternoon.
Cummins reportedly left a note for his wife saying he was heading toward Virginia, maybe even the D.C. area.More news: Bulls Look to Rebound vs. Celtics in Game 4
Wednesday - A tipster tells authorities Cummins and Elizabeth are staying at a small cabin in Cecilville, Calif.
The U.S. State Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Tennessee has also filed a federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines with the intent of having criminal sexual intercourse against Cummins, according to U.S. attorney Jack Smith. Authorities said a 15-year-old Tennessee girl who disappeared with Cummins, who was her teacher, last month has been found safe in California and the teacher has been arrested.
It's the federal charge of transporting a minor across state lines for the purposes of a sex crime that will be the priority in this case.
Paula Boand said her prayers were answered when she found out Thomas was safe. Officials said the cabin had two cots but no power.
Researching the pair, Barry saw Cummins' picture online in an urgent Amber Alert.
Andrus said that they "took custody immediately after serving the warrant this morning" and that there was "no more reason for an extradition procedure" in Siskiyou county since the Federal Warrant outweighs their own proceedings.More news: Can Clippers replicate aggressiveness against Jazz in Game 3?
The girl's father has told news media he believes his daughter was brainwashed.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released this photograph of Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas taken at school in January, days before the school began investigating Cummins for alleged inappropriate contact.
But instead of going to the beach, police say he picked up the student in Columbia, Tennessee, in his wife's white Nissan Rogue on the morning of March 13, setting in motion a six-week police manhunt. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
How they got to Cecilville, California, and why they went there remains a mystery to investigators.
Jill, Erica and Ashlee are glad this chapter of the ordeal is over.
The girl is being evaluated and treated by mental health experts specializing in trauma, lawyer Jason Whatley said in a press release.More news: NoCo, Boulder Valley unemployment rate below 3%, state hits 40-year low
Randall Scott said he lived next to the Cummins for a little over a year and spoke to him about his job at the school and the church.
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