Manhunt for Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping student

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COLUMBIA, TN — Days after a Tennessee teenager and her former teacher ran off together, his wife pleads for him to return…

“Tad this is not you. This is not who you are,” Jill Cummins said. “Please do the right thing and turn yourself in to the police, and bring Beth back home.”

A nationwide manhunt is on for 50-year-old Tad Cummins and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas. Cummins is believed to be armed with two handguns. He’s wanted for aggravated kidnapping, but it’s believed the two two ran away together.

Beth’s dad says Cummins “groomed” his daughter while abusing his position as her teacher and possibly sexually exploiting her while planning the kidnapping.

“He had told her that he had been in the FBI and CIA,” her dad, Anthony Thomas, said. “I tried to convince her that you don’t go from jobs like that down to teaching in a rural school.”

Beth is one of 10 children. Her father calls her the typical outgoing teenager but says she’s also vulnerable — the perfect target for a predator.

“Every minute you just hope that you gonna find her alive,” Thomas said.

“Our Amber Alert is ongoing and it has been several days since anyone has seen Elizabeth Thomas or Tad Cummins,” explained Josh DeVine, TBI Public Information Officer. “Our concern is growing by the moment. We want her home… and him in custody.”

Cummins has been added to Tennessee’s Top 10 Wanted List. But all anyone really wants is for Beth to make it home safely.

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