Elizabeth Thomas' Family Breaks Their Silence: We Want Her to Know We Love Her
The teen was rescued Thursday morning.
Following the rescue of Beth Thomas, who disappeared with her teacher for more than a month, her family says they are relieved that she has been found safe.
"We're very happy we're going to be able to see her again," her father, Anthony, told Good Morning America. "I want her to know that I love her."
The family has not yet been reunited with the 15-year-old. She was rescued Thursday morning after a caretaker for a set of cabins in Northern California told police that Thomas and the teacher, Tad Cummins, were staying on the grounds.
"We didn't get an opportunity to speak to her last night, but we're looking forward to that this morning when they fly her back," Anthony Thomas said.
He added: “It's going to take some working with her for a while because we love her so much, we're going to be patient with her and we've got to get her the help she needs."
The discovery of Thomas and the arrest of Cummins came nearly six weeks after the pair disappeared on March 13. Thomas' disappearance triggered a nationwide Amber Alert.
“Our intelligence analysts and agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this Amber Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states,” TBI Director Mark Gwyn said in a statement Thursday.
“What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end," he said. "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."
Cummins, a married father and grandfather, left a note for his wife, Jill, the morning he vanished, District Attorney Brent Cooper said. The prosecutor declined to reveal the letter’s contents, but called it a diversionary tactic designed to buy time.
Jill Cummins filed for divorce after her husband and the girl went missing.
He was charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. Authorities had warned he was armed.
Both denied having any inappropriate contact with the other.
One day after their disappearance, he was fired by school authorities.
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