Elizabeth Thomas, Teen Abducted by Teacher Tad Cummins, Now Engaged
Thomas, 17, has agreed to marry her 18-year-old boyfriend, Skylar Dirla.
Elizabeth Thomas, the Tennessee teen who spent 38 days on the run with her 50-year-old teacher after he took her from her home, is engaged.
Thomas, 17, has agreed to marry her 18-year-old boyfriend, Skylar Dirla, she told InsideEdition.com.
Dirla, who Thomas began dating last year, was pictured down on one knee proposing to Thomas in September, photos of the engagement, posted to Facebook, showed.
The pair officially got engaged in March, Thomas said. They met after the death of a family member, Thomas told InsideEdition.com.
“I love you so much,” Thomas wrote to Dirla in July.
Dirla is thought to be Thomas' first serious boyfriend since she was abducted by Tad Cummins in March 2017.
Cummins, a married father and grandfather, groomed Thomas for months before he forced her to run away with him, her family said in a court filing.
On more than one occasion, Cummins picked up Thomas from her home to go for meals together, “threatening her that if she did not go with him she would face repercussions at school,” Thomas’s father said in a court petition obtained by People.
Thomas believed she had to go with Cummins, or else something bad would happen to her family, she said in an interview with ABC’s "20/20."
“I mean, whenever he’d threaten me, and especially with guns, wouldn’t you believe that?” she said. “He said if he couldn’t have me, he’d kill himself.”
After more than a month on the run, Cummins and Thomas were found in a four-walled shelter in Northern California.
Cummins pleaded guilty to federal counts of transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of engaging in criminal sexual conduct and obstruction of justice. He is currently awaiting sentencing.
"[People] think they know what happened,” Thomas told ABC. “They think I’m a whore. They think that I like old men and that’s not the case."
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