TBI: Elizabeth Thomas safely recovered in Northern California, T - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

TBI: Elizabeth Thomas safely recovered in Northern California, Tad Cummins arrested

Source: TBI Source: TBI

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Investigators arrested Tad Cummins, the man at the center of a nationwide Amber Alert, and Elizabeth Thomas, the teen he is accused of kidnapping, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Officials said Cummins, 50, kidnapped Thomas, 15, on March 13 from Maury County, Tennessee.

The two were found in Cecilville, a rural town in northern California.

Authorities reportedly found Cummins' Nissan Rogue first. The vehicle's original license plate had been removed, but officials were able to confirm the vehicle through its VIN.

Officials later found Thomas and Cummins, who surrendered without incident. Police say they are still working to reunite Thomas with her family.

Cummins is a former teacher from Thomas' school. TBI said he groomed Thomas to be his victim. He's also accused of having inappropriate contact with her at school before the kidnapping.

Cummins is being held by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department without bond. He is awaiting extradition to Tennessee, where he will be charged with sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn said the agency received more than 1,500 leads during the search, reaching all 50 states.

“What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end. We are extremely thankful the hard work of all partners in this search has paid off. We’re also grateful for the public’s support and vigilance throughout this search effort," said Gwyn in a news release.

TBI is planning to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. CST. WMC Action News 5 will bring that conference to you live.

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