Ex-Reporter Living in Van Shows How Teacher and Kidnapped Student May Be Living Off the Grid
Tad Cummins allegedly researched how to live off the grid before leaving with Elizabeth Thomas.
A Tennessee high school teacher and his 15-year-old female student have been on the run for 10 days without a single sighting — and police believe they are living “off the grid.”
Prior to fleeing, 50-year-old Tad Cummins reportedly watched shows like "Livin’ Off the Grid.”
Steve Santagati, who has been living off the grid for two years in a Ford van that he converted himself, told Inside Edition, “The older guy in this equation will find it slightly easier, because he is delusional because he believes this is a great love affair. She is going to have it much more difficult,” he said of Elizabeth Thomas, the student.
Santagati showed Inside Edition around his digs, which include a refrigerator, a stovetop and a sink with a water supply.
“Then I have an on-demand hot water shower," he explained. "I have a suction cup that sticks on the outside of the van. I turn it on and have a hot shower outside.”
Santagati was a top male model, a TV reporter, talk show host and regular commentator about the dating scene.
Then two years ago, after suffering a devastating financial loss, he made the decision to go off the grid.
Read: Teacher Accused of Kidnapping Teen May Have Bought Women's Hair Dye Days Before Disappearing
“It's easy to go untraceable if you are not using credit cards or phones,” he said.
Asked how tough is it to reach him, he said, “Very tough. Any given day you would never know exactly where I am. I'm mobile! I'm moving around! I don't have an address!”
Inside Edition spoke to Santagati from his current location in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Unlike Santagati's expansive van, Cummins and Thomas are believed to be living out of a much smaller Nissan Rogue SUV.
“I have to be constantly vigilant of my water supply, my electricity, and where I am going to park, where I am going to stay, to make sure it's safe,” said Santagati.
He believes Thomas and the wanted teacher will soon reach the breaking point, or make a mistake that will lead to their discovery.
"I'm guessing... maybe three weeks is going to be her breaking point because the fantasy and all the stuff he told her is going to come crashing home,” he said.
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