Kidnapped Tennessee teen is withdrawn, jittery, family says

Apr 25, 2017, 12:55
Kidnapped Tennessee teen is withdrawn, jittery, family says

Authorities say he and Elizabeth Thomas fled Maury County, Tenn., on March 13.

Cummins is accused of disappearing with Thomas after the two were reportedly spotted kissing at school.

Former teacher and alleged kidnapper Tad Cummins waived extradition today during a court hearing in Sacramento, California.

The Associated Press is not naming the girl because she is an alleged victim of a sex crime. According to the federal prosecutors, Cummins admitted to complex efforts to avoid capture during his 38 days on the run, including traveling back roads through nine states, using disguises, disengaging the Global Positioning System on his wife's Nissan Rogue and staying in motels with lax check-in procedures and communes. He even bought a small watercraft and took it on a test run from San Diego into Mexican waters, prosecutors said.

The attorney said Cummins is "is looking forward to return to Tennessee as soon as possible", to contest the charges, according to the newspaper.

Cummins was taken into custody Thursday and the teen was placed in protective federal care. "We'll make sure she'll get what therapy she needs and that she's safe, that she knows she's safe". At that time, authorities said they suspected Cummins, a former Culleoka Unit School health science teacher, had abducted her.

Investigators found a single sleeping pad in the remote cabin where Cummins and Elizabeth were found, Lopey says.

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"It is believed based on the investigation to date. that Cummins, age 50, and VICTIM, age 15, are involved in sexual relationship and traveled in interstate commerce to continue their relationship and to engage in unlawful sexual activity", according to the affidavit. That charge carries a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, but Cummins could be sentenced to as much as life as prison, according to the US attorney's office.

"Elizabeth is a little child", Whatley said. He faces a state charge of aggravated kidnapping in Tennessee, where he's expected to be returned in the next couple of weeks.

Since then, the two had been spotted at a Walmart in Oklahoma City - where according to a criminal complaint, Cummins made reservations at Super 8 motels in March.

While Elizabeth Thomas got re-acquainted with her family and friends, the complications in her family's domestic case continued. "You're speechless. You see them and you don't know what to say, because she's been through something very traumatic", Bozeman told News 2.

On Friday, Anthony Thomas, the teen's father, told "Good Morning America" that he thinks his daughter was brainwashed.

Quinn told NBC that she spoke with her brother three times over the weekend, and noted that he was "repentant" about his actions.

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