Thursday, the search for 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas and 50-year-old Tad Cummins came to an end when authorities found them in northern California, thanks to a tip.
The man who called in the tip has been identified as Griffin Barry, a man from Nashville, reports WKRN. WKRN also reports Barry is a caretaker of a forested northern California property, which includes a gas station, Frisbee golf course and at least two small cabins.
Cummins told Barry that he and Elizabeth were from Colorado and had lost everything in a house fire. Cummins said they were looking for the Black Bear Ranch Commune but had no money or gas. Barry gave him some money and told him if things didn’t work out at the commune to come back and he would give them food and might could find some work for Cummins.
Sources report the pair made it to the commune but members of the commune told them they weren’t a good fit. Cummins and Elizabeth returned to the property where Barry worked and they were allowed to stay in one of the cabins if Cummins did some work around the property. A short time later, Barry became aware that Cummins was a wanted man and called the authorities.
Thursday morning Cummins was arrested without incident and Elizabeth was taken into protective custody. Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey says two loaded handguns were found inside in the cabin. Cummins is being held without bond on a federal charge of knowingly transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity and will be arraigned on Friday. Elizabeth is one her way home to Columbia, Tenn.
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