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Tenn. teacher accused of kidnapping student found in Northern California

Tenn. teacher accused of kidnapping student found in Northern Californiaā€¯

Teacher Tad Cummins took guns, money and his wife's vehicle before kidnapping a 15-year-old female student and taking her on a 2,500-mile cross-country journey that ended Thursday, court records show. Authorities say the pair was found at a cabin in Cecilville, which is about 120 miles south of the OR state line. The student, Elizabeth Thomas, has reportedly been recovered safely. Two days after the girl disappeared, surveillance images from a Walmart in Oklahoma City showed Cummins and the girl purchasing food items in the store with cash.

Cummins has been charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact in the disappearance of Thomas, who attends Culleoka Unit School in Maury County.

After the capture, Cummins was charged with one federal count of transportations of a minor across state lines for the goal of criminal sexual intercourse, said Jack Smith, acting USA attorney for Middle District of Tennessee.

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As of 1 p.m. Thursday, Cummins remained in the custody of the Siskiyou County jail where he's being held without bond, awaiting extradition to Tennessee. The statement said the images captured showed Cummins had altered his hair to appear darker and the girl may have changed her hair color to red. A spokesperson for the Maury County Public Schools said Cummins was suspended from teaching last month and was sacked on Tuesday, March 14. Investigators were then able to use the car's VIN number to confirm that it belonged to Cummins and kept the vehicle under surveillance for several hours, Devine said.

Siskiyou County is one of the most northern counties in the state of California. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The two were reported missing on March 13 from Culleoka, a Tennessee community about 60 miles south of Nashville. Cummins had been suspended after a student reported seeing them kissing in a classroom. But then the trail has gone cold.

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Earlier, authorities in California said the pair were found at a commune, but those reports were incorrect.

Two weeks later on March 29 the affidavit says investigators received a hotline tip from a Super 8 Motels employee.

"There's one thing that he's reminded us for our entire life". "This is yet another example of the value of the public helping us to rescue a kidnapping victim". "She has not spoken to Tad".

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Jill Cummins had filed for divorce, saying she felt betrayed by her husband. Authorities had said they had been living there for about a week-and-a-half. "I'm not aware that they had ever been there".



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