No news is bad news in Middle Tennessee Amber Alert case

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The TBI’s latest update on missing 15 year old Elizabeth Thomas is disturbing.

They issued an Amber Alert for her on Tuesday, but still have no sign of her.

The 15 year old was last seen before school on Monday morning.

Now agents say they remain “extremely concerned” for her well-being.

They believe she is with former teacher Tad Cummins.

And while they cannot give details yet, they say they have discovered a “troubling pattern of behavior by Tad Cummins, suggesting the 50-year-old may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom this vulnerable young girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her.”

The teacher was suspended by the school while the allegations against him were investigated.

But then he and the girl disappeared.

The TBI says they have gotten a low number of tips so far, none of which have panned out.

So they believe the pair are out of the public view.

Cummins took out a $4,500 loan just last week.

And frankly, they have no idea where he may be now.

Here is the timeline they have put together on the day Elizabeth disappeared.

APPROXIMATELY 7:30-7:45 AM CST: A friend of Elizabeth Thomas dropped Thomas off at the Shoney’s in Columbia, Tennessee.
8:32 AM CST: Surveillance video appears to show Tad Cummins at the nearby Shell station, fueling his Nissan Rogue.
12:41 PM CST: The Maury County Sheriff’s Department entered the child as ‘missing’ in NCIC, the nation’s law enforcement internal communications database.
3:06 PM CST: Information places Thomas in the area of Decatur, Alabama.
Tuesday, March 14th:
3:49 PM CST: The Maury County Sheriff’s Department officially requested an alert.
4:18 PM CST: TBI issued an Endangered Child Alert.
4:49 PM CST: The Maury County Sheriff’s Department secures the warrant for Cummins, charging him with one count of Sexual Contact with a Minor.
5:53 PM CST: Due to the warrant being placed against Cummins, TBI upgraded its alert to an AMBER Alert.

The TBI would urge the public to remain vigilant and report any information that may prove beneficial in the ongoing search to 1-800-TBI-FIND. If you spot the vehicle and can verify the license plate to be TN 976-ZPT, call 911.

Categories: Regional News

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