U.S. Attorney: Tad Cummins planned to flee to Mexico with kidnapped teen

By: Greg Coy

Updated:

Disturbing new details are being released in the case of a Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping his young student. 

Tad Cummins is charged with kidnapping 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas, having a sexual relationship with her, and keeping her hidden for more than a month before being discovered. 

The pair were found living in a remote area of Northern California, 38 days after they disappeared when a friend dropped Elizabeth off at a Shoney's restaurant on March 13. 

>>Amber Alert suspect Tad Cummins arrested, teen rescued

The U.S. States Attorney's office released court documents detailing why they want Cummins to remain in jail and consider him a flight risk. 

Cummins is accused of disappearing with Thomas after the two were reportedly spotted kissing at school. 

>>Criminal complaint reveals shocking details about Tad Cummins actions

Authorities now said Cummins went to extreme measures to stay hidden with the girl. 

Those measures allegedly included: 

  • Changing their physical appearances
  • Switching license plates twice
  • Disabling the vehicle's GPS system
  • Using aliases 
  • Altering the appearance of the vehicle
  • Using back road routes
  • Only using cash 
  • Discarding their cell phones
  • Left a misleading note for his wife 
  • Monitored news media outlets
  • Staying in hotels with relaxed check-in requirements and communes

Authorities said he also had plans to cross the U.S. border into Mexico and from there, planned to travel even further south. 

Cummins got a small watercraft and conducted a test run to cross into Mexico across the water from San Diego. He also considered the feasibility of a land crossing into Mexico. 


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"What do you say in these circumstances?" asked Kat Bozeman, Elizabeth's sister. " You want to ask so many things but then you know that's not what she needs."

Kat Bozeman said the family is focusing on the recovery of her teenage sister after Thomas had been kidnapped. 

"You don't know what to say because she's been through something very traumatic," said Bozeman.

Thomas was apparently cut off from learning about all the attention focused on her rescue.   

"She told us she didn't have access to telephone, internet, any electronic devices. There was not availability to food all the time is the understanding," said Bozeman.

Cummins is still waiting for extradition back to Tennessee, and Thomas is getting counseling.

"There is a long road ahead-mental health is not like a broken bone that is healed in 8 weeks," said Bozeman.

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