15-year-old Tennessee schoolgirl, Mary Catherine Elizabeth Thomas took off with Tad Cummins in Columbia, Tenn, on March 13
He’d been seen buying dark brown women’s hair dye at a Walmart on Mar 12
The just before, changed her Instagram bio to ‘wife’, adding a ring emoji
Cummins, a 50-year-old teacher had been seen kissing the teen girl weeks, by another student, earlier at Culleoka High School on Jan 23
The school maintained Cummins’ teaching privilege but removed Thomas from his science class and her family only learned a week later, when investigators visited their home
On March 13, Elizabeth told siblings she was spending the day with a friend, but warned them to call police if she wasn’t home by 6p.m.
Authorities believe teen was groomed by Cummins for more than two years
Predator teacher faces charges for sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 1-800-TBI-FIND
Elizabeth Thomas, 15, left, has been missing from Columbia, Tennessee, with her former science teacher Tad Cummins, 50, right, since March 13
A 15-year-old tennessee schoolgirl, who was abducted by her 50-year-old former teacher last week sparking a nationwide manhunt, reportedly changed her social media status to ‘wife’ just before disappearing with the suspected pedophile.
Elizabeth Thomas has not been seen since March 13 when she is feared to have been taken by Tad Cummins, her married former teacher.
An Amber Alert has been issued in her home state of Tennessee and in neighboring Alabama but police say the pair could be ‘anywhere’
On Tuesday, the girl’s family told how she warned them to call police if she did not return home by 6pm on the day she vanished. Authorities however say it is ‘entirely likely’ she does not yet consider herself a victim and chose to go with him willingly.
Amber alert warns missing Tennessee teen, Catherine ‘Elizabeth’ Thomas, is ‘in extreme danger’ after her abduction by 50-year-old teacher, Tad Cummins
Newly released surveillance footage shows Cummins, who police say is armed with two handguns, buying women’s hair dye at a Tennessee Walmart a day before they disappeared.
It also emerged on Tuesday that Cummins, who describes himself online as a ‘Jesus freak, grandfather and father’, was under police investigation after being seen kissing the girl when he disappeared with her.
Another student claimed to have seen the pair kissing in Cummins’ classroom at Culleoka High School in Columbia, Tennessee, on January 23 while his grandson, who is also a student there, used the computer.
She reported it to police and to the school board but Cummins was allowed to carry on work and was not arrested.
Runaway teen: Elizabeth Thomas – Changed her social media bio to ‘Wife’ before vanishing with her former teacher
Elizabeth Thomas changed her Instagram status to ‘wife’, with a ring emoji, just before she vanished
Elizabeth changed her Instagram biography before she vanished to describe herself as a ‘wife’. She also added a ring emoji to the description
The student claimed she confronted the teacher before reporting it to her own family and he told her they had a ‘father daughter relationship’.
Elizabeth’s own family did not learn about it until a week later when Maury County Sheriff’s Department officers visited their home to make inquiries.
Tennessee Bureau of Invetigation released surveillance photo of the vanished teen on the day, apperring to be carrying clothes
This image of Elizabeth was taken on March 13, the day she vanished. She appears to be carrying clothes
School board staff interviewed the girl several times and police began investigating her claims but Cummins was allowed to carry on teaching. They removed Elizabeth from his class but they were caught again together on February 3 by the school principal.
The school eventually suspended Cummins on February 6 after receiving an outraged letter from her father demanding to be kept in updated about the investigation.
Cummins was not officially fired by the school district until he disappeared with the girl on March 13.
Students said Elizabeth was angry with the other girl for reporting their classroom kiss and ‘growled’ at her in the hallway.
She believed the pair were friends, they said, but authorities believe Cummins was grooming her for sex.
In the days before her disappearance, Elizabeth posted several cryptic Instagram photographs about love.
Among them was an illustration of Beauty and The Beast. ‘Every beauty needs her beast to protect her from everything but him,’ it read.
Cummins is seen inside a Walmart store in Columbia, Tennessee, with a pack of dark brown women’s hair dyethe day before he vanished with the girl.
On March 12, the day before they vanished, Cummins was spotted buying women’s dark brown hair dye at a Tennessee Walmart. He also appeared to have bought men’s toiletries.
Days earlier, he took out a $4,500 loan and was also seen filling up his silver Nissan Rogue with gas on the day of their disappearance.
It’s entirely likely Elizabeth doesn’t believe, at least right now, that she’s a victim
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman, Josh DeVine said.
Tad Cummins [right] and dark brown hairbrown hair dye [left], he bought in a Columbia Tenn.Walmart, a day before disappearing
On March 13, Elizabeth told her family she was spending the day with a friend. She told one of her ten siblings to call police if she had not returned by 6pm, according to People.
Police believe Cummins, who she has known for more than two years, brainwashed her into abandoning her family. They have not confirmed whether she went willingly with him on March 13.
‘It’s entirely likely Elizabeth doesn’t believe – at least right now – that she’s a victim,’ Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine told DailyMail.com on Tuesday.
In the days before her disappearance, she referred to a ‘mission’ on social media while sharing quotes about love.
Police issued the last photograph of her before her disappearance on Monday. In it, she appeared carrying a pile of clothes in her arms.
‘Beauty and the [her] Beast’ Elizabeth posted this image on Instagram in the days before she disappeared, writing simply beside it: ‘Good morning’
Cummins was already in trouble after he was caught kissing the student on the grounds of Culleoka High School [photo], by another student on January 23.
Staff notified police but did not immediately tell her family or suspend Cullins.
Police believe she was groomed by Cummins who she has known for more than two years.
Elizabeth referred to a ‘mission’ before disappearing on March 13.
Tennessee investigators say Elizabeth is in imminent danger. They believe Cummins is armed with two handguns. She was dressed in a plaid shirt and dark leggings with her blonde hair scraped back in to a ponytail.
The bureau did not specify where the image was taken but investigators previously stated that Elizabeth had been dropped off at a restaurant by a friend in Colombia, Tennessee, before she was taken.
‘Nothing investigators have learned about Cummins or his intentions for the young girl since issuing the AMBER Alert calms the imminent concern for Elizabeth’s well-being.
‘In fact, it only heightens it,’ a statement issued by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Saturday read.
Elizabeth’s dad Anthony Thomas -He [Cummins], ‘stole’ my daughter from me
Josh DeVine, the bureau’s spokesman, said he was eager for the public to grasp how dangerous the situation is.
‘She’s 15. He is 50. He is facing a charge in which the district attorney has identified her as the victim and they are missing.
‘We want her home, we want him in custody, he said last week at a press conference.
Cummins now faces charges for sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping. Each of the pair’s families has issued desperate pleas for them to return.
Cummins’ wife Jill appealed directly to him, telling him: ‘Tad this is not you. This is not who you are. We can help you get through this.
Jill Cummins made an emotional plea to hausband Tad, for his return last week, telling him: ‘Tad, this is not you.’
Cummins was seen filling up his silver Nissan Rogue with gas on the day the pair disappeared. Cops believe he and Mary Catherine Elizabeth Thomas are traveling together in his silver Nissan Rogue [photo], Tennessee tag 976ZPT
There is a $1,000 reward for information which may lead police to the pair. Tennessee investigators have received 450 tips but do not yet have a strong lead
‘No matter how far you’ve gone or what’s happening right now, God’s grace is sufficient for you and he wants you to come home. Your family wants their poppy back. Please do the right thing, and turn yourself into the police and bring Beth home.’
The teacher describes himself as a ‘Jesus freak, father and grandfather’ online.
Elizabeth’s father spoke at a vigil in their hometown. ‘What Tad did, he stole my daughter from me but Maury County is a big community.
‘He didn’t just steal from me, he stole from the whole community.’
Ready for battle: Cummins dressed in a camouflage hat, a dark blue t-shirt and matching jacket
On Monday, the bureau said it had received 450 tips from dozens of different states but that none had produced a strong lead.
‘The individuals could be anywhere, and the TBI continues to urge national vigilance in the ongoing effort to locate the missing girl and apprehend her alleged abductor,’ it said.
There is a $1,000 reward for information which could lead police to Cummins. Investigators are urging anyone with information to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.
If they spot Cummins’ vehicle, which has the license plate TN 976-ZPT, they are urged to call 911 immediately.