Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping due in court Monday
Tad Cummins, the Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old student and disappearing with her for five weeks, is due in court Monday.
He is in federal custody in California and was expected to be arraigned in Sacramento, Siskiyou County Prosecutor Kirk Andrus said.
Cummins was arrested Thursday and the girl was recovered in Northern California after a nationwide search.
Cummins was charged with one federal count of transportation of a minor across state lines for the purpose of criminal sexual intercourse, said Jack Smith, acting US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. The charge carries a minimum of 10 years.
He also faces state charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said last month.
Under Tennessee law, children 12 and older can choose to leave home unless under “force, threat or fraud.”
‘I’m glad this is over’
When he was captured, Cummins, 50, told deputies “I’m glad this is over.”
It began March 13, when the girl, Elizabeth Thomas, went missing in Culleoka, Tennessee. Cummins, too, was gone, after borrowing his wife’s Nissan Rogue and having recently filled prescriptions for erectile disfunction medicine and securing a $4,500 loan.
Surveillance images showed them at a Walmart in Oklahoma City on March 15.
They were found after staying at least a night in a remote cabin 2,500 miles from home near Cecilville, California, near the Oregon border. Cummins reportedly told the tipster who called police that the girl was his 22-year-old wife.
CNN’s Alanne Orjoux and Sara Sidner contributed to this report.
By Jay Croft