Elizabeth Thomas, 15, Found Safe; Former Teacher, Tad Cummins Arrested In Northern California After Tip Called In

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Elizabeth Thomas
Elizabeth Thomas

Elizabeth Thomas, 15, a Columbia, Tn., student, who had been missing since March 13, has been found, and Tad Cummins, 50, her former teacher, was arrested.

They were found on Thursday in northern California.

The teacher and student took off after a student had reported seeing them kissing at school.

The sheriff in the county in which the pair were found said they were located after a tip was called in on Wednesday night.

Officers checked out a Nissan Rogue that did not have a tag. However, the VIN number was matched to the Cummins vehicle.

Cummins was taken into custody without incident at around 9 a.m.

He was being charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. 

Tennessee is taking steps to extradite him.

The only prior sighting was when they were seen inside a Walmart in Oklahoma on March 15.

Cummins' wife had made a plea for him to return home.


Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us on Facebook ... (click for more)

Jeffery Skarzinski Killed In Single-Vehicle Wreck On Birchwood Pike

Jeffery Skarzinski, 41,  of Harrison, was killed in a wreck on Birchwood Pike Tuesday night.   At approximately  9:20 p.m. , Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the 11500 block of Birchwood Pike for the report of a single-vehicle crash. Upon arrival, deputies found the driver of the vehicle deceased. No one else was in ... (click for more)

Prayers For Denny - And Response

I don’t live in Chattanooga any longer unfortunately and haven’t for many years now, but when I did live there, I was more than a regular at Yesterdays.  It was basically my second home….as it was for many, many of my friends and others that I may not have known their names, but definitely knew their faces.   It was the “Cheers” of Chattanooga. It was the place that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘No Sir -- It Stays Here’

To any of the millions who have served the United States on the field of combat, the most hallowed and prized distinction is our nation’s Medal of Honor. It is never given, it is always earned before it is ever awarded.  At least that’s the way it was up until a sun-splashed Wednesday three weeks ago in Vicenza, Italy. There is an Army base there that houses the 173 rd Airborne ... (click for more)

Lookouts Open Homestand Tuesday With 9-4 Win Over Birmingham

The last place Birmingham Barons fell victim to a six-run sixth inning uprising that lifted the first place Chattanooga Lookouts to Tuesday night's 9-4 win  -- their 24th win of the second half. The Lookouts have 12 wins at home and 12 wins on the road. Starting pitcher Stephen Gonsalves allowed just three hits over 5 2/3 innings. Gonsalves (7-3) allowed two runs while ... (click for more)

SEC Annouces Television Schedule For First Three Weeks Of 2017 Season

The SEC Office on Tuesday announced the start times for games on the SEC Network during the first three weeks of the 2017 season.   The SEC Network Saturday schedule opens with three games on September 2 .  The Network will air six games on the second week of the season and five games in Week 3.  The first Conference matchup of the year on the ... (click for more)