The TBI has released surveillance video of Tad Cummins in Columbia, TN filling his car with gas Monday, just shortly before they believe he picked up 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas at a nearby Shoney’s. Thomas remains the subject of a Tennessee and Alabama AMBER Alert, which were issued Tuesday night. Shoney’s is the last known sighting of her
Thomas is white, with blonde hair, hazel eyes, stands 5’5” and weighs 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings. Tad Cummins, a white male, who stands 6’0”, weighs approximately 200 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes.
Investigators can place Thomas in Decatur, Alabama at approximately 3:06 CST on Monday afternoon, though neither individual has a known connection to that area. Since then, efforts to identify their exact location have proven unsuccessful.
Cummins, 50, is a white male, who stands 6’0”, weighs approximately 200 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes. He is believe to be armed with two handguns and driving a silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tag 976-ZPT. A warrant has been issued for Cummins for Sexual Contact with a Minor. Tuesday, reports confirm details of the incident for which Cummins now faces a charge is connected to an alleged sexual interaction between Cummins and Thomas at the school where he taught and where she was a student. The school district suspended Cummins when the allegations surfaced and terminated his employment Tuesday.
As part of its investigative work, the TBI is embarking on an effort to understand the action of Cummins in the weeks leading up to the AMBER Alert. For example, the TBI has been able to determine Cummins secured a title loan for a personal vehicle several days before his disappearance, netting $4,500 in cash. To that end, the TBI would like to hear from anyone who may have had an interaction with either individual prior to their disappearance.