Help bring Elizabeth Thomas home

Columbia, TN

Elizabeth Thomas, 15, has been missing since Monday (March 13) when her friend dropped her off at a Shoney’s Diner in Columbia, Tennessee.

Thomas, who is considered endangered, is believed to be with Tad Cummins, a 50-year-old ex-teacher, who is accused of abusing his position to groom and lure the girl, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Since then, several AMBER Alerts have been issued in Tennessee and Alabama.

Information obtained by investigators and law enforcement through tips have last placed Cummins in Decatur, Alabama, on Monday. Since then, however, no confirmed sightings have been reported, and investigators haven’t developed any solid leads on finding Thomas and Cummins. Over 100 tips and sightings have been reported and called in, although none credible. 

Recent photos of Cummins and the car he is believed to be driving

While they cannot release specifics at the time, the TBI’s efforts have revealed a troubling pattern of behavior by Cummins, suggesting the 50-year-old may have been abusing his role as educator to groom this vulnerable young girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her. Cummins is wanted on a warrant for sex with Thomas as she is a minor.

Cummins officially was fired by the school system Tuesday. Investigators have said Cummins secured a $4,500 loan for a personal vehicle several days before his disappearance. 

Cummins is believed to be armed with two pistols and driving a silver Nissan Rogue. The vehicle may have Tennessee license plate 976-ZPT. Cummins is a Caucasian male, with brown hair and eyes. He is around 6 feet and weighs about 200 pounds.

Thomas is Caucasian with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She is 5 feet 5 inches and weighs 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings. She also has glasses, although may not be wearing them.

Anyone with information about Thomas or Cummins should call 1-800-TBI-FIND. If you spot the vehicle and can verify the license plate to be TN 976-ZPT, call 911.

I know to some of you this may seem like “slacktivism”, but sharing these photos and information could legitimately help get the word out, especially in the Alabama/Tennessee/Mississippi region, and it increases the amount of vigilant people.