Teen, 15, Who Disappeared With Former Teacher Is 'Resting' With Family, Recovery 'Just Beginning'
She is being evaluated by mental health expert who specializes in trauma.
The 15-year-old teen who disappeared with former teacher, 50-year-old Tad Cummins, for more than a month is being mentally evaluated after reuniting with her family, according to the family’s attorney.
Elizabeth Thomas returned to her home state of Tennessee on Friday and is in a "safe location with family and friends where she is comfortable and resting," said attorney Jason Whatley.
Thomas is being evaluated by a mental health expert specializing in trauma, according to Whatley.
"There is no doubt that she has suffered severe emotional trauma and that her process of recovery is only just beginning," Whatley said. "The family is extremely grateful for the thoughts and prayers of the nation and asks sincerely for those continued prayers as Elizabeth becomes able to process the last 39 days.”
Whatley said that after meeting the teen for the first time, he was "taken back at who she is."
"Elizabeth is a little child," Whatley said. "She could easily pass for 12. The primary photo used and reprinted so many times by law enforcement, the media, and even our office, is inaccurate. She is a little girl in every sense of the word. This was the abduction of an impressionable, little child."
Thomas and Cummins were found in a remote cabin in Cecilville, an isolated area near the California-Oregon border that has little to no cell service, authorities said.
Cummins was immediately taken into custody.
Cummins spent the night in jail before FBI agents took him to Sacramento, where he faces federal charges of crossing state lines with intent to have sexual relations with a minor.
Cummins also faces charges in Siskiyou County for kidnapping and possession of stolen property, according to the sheriff's department.
The pair had been missing since March 13.
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