The wife of a former 50-year-old Tennessee teacher who allegedly took off with a 15-year-old girl is urging her husband to turn himself in to authorities.
State authorities and the FBI say 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas willingly got in the vehicle of Tad Cummins on Monday after he allegedly went to pick her up at a Maury County restaurant and took off.
Police have added Cummins to the state’s “Top 10 Most Wanted” list and have already charged him with aggravated kidnapping in the aftermath of Thomas’ disappearance.
They noted that Thomas is in imminent danger.
On Friday, Cummins’ wife, Jill Cummins, plead with her husband during a news conference to bring the Thomas back.
“Tad, this is not you. This is not who you are.Please do the right thing and turn yourself in to the police and bring Beth home,” Jill Cummins said. “We can help you get through this. No matter how far you've gone or what is happening right now, God's grace is sufficient for you and he wants you to come home."
Cummins, who taught in Culleoka, was fired earlier this week, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI). His termination came after authorities issued a warrant for him on the sexual misconduct charge.
According to the TBI, that charge was based on an "alleged interaction" with a teen, but they did not confirm whether it was Thomas.
Days into the hunt, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had received dozens of tips as well as surveillance footage from a gas station where authorities say Cummins refueled his vehicle before picking up Thomas.
According to reports, investigators say Cummins secured a title loan for a personal vehicle several days before he disappeared, getting $4,500 in cash from the transaction.
Initially, authorities thought the pair may have headed to Alabama but there have been no confirmed sightings. So now investigators acknowledge the two could be anywhere.
The TBI said he was driving a silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tag 976-ZPT. Cummins is also allegedly armed with two handguns.