Did TV Survival Shows Help Tad Cummins Pick Up Tips on Avoiding Capture?
New details are emerging in the case of the teacher who ran off with a former student.
New details about life on the lam have emerged in the case of the 50-year-old former high school teacher who ran off with one of his students.
In addition, never-before-seen video of the moment 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas disappeared with Tad Cummins has been released.
The video, which was obtained by ABC News, was captured by security cameras outside her Tennessee home. A car can be seen pulling up that would take her to Cummins.
The footage also features the family dog wagging its tail as she calmly closes the front door. She's holding two bags of belongings as she crosses the patio.
ABC News correspondent Eva Pilgrim spoke with people at the California commune where Cummins and the teenager ended up at one point during their time on the run.
They were ordered to leave in part because they spent too much time in an attic love nest instead of doing their share of the work.
“There were only a small number of residents and their fear of Tad Cummins made them wait until more people came so they could confront him. They didn't want to confront him when they only had a few people there,” Pilgrim told Inside Edition.
Cummins and Thomas then moved to a cabin in the woods in Cecilville, Calif., where they were captured last month.
Thomas had not showered in weeks when she was freed and that was the first thing she wanted, according to Pilgrim.
“She didn’t ask for food, she wanted a shower and a razor, that was the most important thing for her,” Pilgrim said.
Cummins' wife, Jill, revealed to Inside Edition recently that he left her a farewell note in which he deliberately tried to misdirect cops by saying they were headed to Virginia Beach.
In fact, Cummins and the teen were heading in the opposite direction to Oklahoma City before making their way to Northern California.
According to the FBI, Cummins stayed off highways and changed license plates twice while on the run.
Court documents allege Cummins eventually planned to take Thomas to Mexico via a “small watercraft."
He actually conducted a test run to cross into Mexico from San Diego. The allegation surprised Jill.
“We went kayaking one time last summer and then a couple of times before that. He had no experience other than that,” she told Inside Edition.
Jill says her husband may have picked up tips about evading capture from TV shows about survival in the wild.
“He would watch Off the Grid and things like that and talk about living out in remote areas,” she said.
The new information and video will be part of Friday’s 20/20 on ABC, which is about the case of their six weeks on the run.
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