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22 April 2017, 01:12 | Todd Saunders
Tennessee girl safe, teacher arrested near California cabin
A complaint from United States Attorneys is seeking harsher penalties for Tad Cummins, the man who's been arrested for kidnapping Elizabeth Thomas.
He will remain in custody in Sacramento, California, until his return to Tennessee.
Lopey tells the Associated Press that she did not exhibit any anger toward her teacher.
Cummins was expected to appear in court on Friday, just one day after he and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas were found at a cabin in a remote part of Siskiyou County, California.
At officers' instructions Thursday morning, Barry drove by the cabin and shouted for Cummins.
Tad Cummins, 50, who was found Thursday with the girl in a cabin in a remote corner of Northern California, was taken from a jail cell in Yreka, about 60 miles (100 km) south of the OR border, by federal agents shortly before he was due to make an appearance in a California state court. That night, Cummins' wife found a note from her husband that said he was going to the Washington, D.C. area or Virginia Beach to "clear his head" and urged her not to call police.
He is awaiting extradition to Tennessee, where he will be charged with sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping.
After the capture, Cummins was charged with one federal count of transportations of a minor across state lines for the objective of criminal sexual intercourse, said Jack Smith, acting U.S. attorney for Middle District of Tennessee.
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Tad Cummins was an intensely sought fugitive, trumpeted from coast to coast as the Tennessee teacher accused of running off with his 15-year-old student. Cummins was arrested after he came out the cabin with the girl walking behind him, the sheriff's office said.
Authorities made their way to the area where they found Thomas and arrested Cummins. The main concern is for her emotional well-being, Gwyn said.
Her father said he can hardly wait to see her and tell her he loves her.
The statement says Jill Cummins, along with daughters Erica and Ashlee, "trust the judicial system to administer justice upon Tad Cummins".
How they got to Cecilville, California, and why they went there remains a mystery to investigators.
Jason Whatley, the attorney representing Elizabeth Thomas' family, said the teen underwent a medical interview and a forensics interview before getting on the plane.
-- 2:10 p.m. The school district of a missing Tennessee student who was found with her teacher in California says it is continuing its efforts to better respond to accusations of misconduct at school. They disappeared a few weeks after a student reported seeing Cummins and Elizabeth kissing in a classroom. An attorney for the girl's family has said her father didn't find out about the report of the kiss or the school's investigation until a law enforcement agent showed up at his door. The teacher, however, acknowledged that the girl was "a really good friend and she does leave her other classes to come see him when she needs someone to calm her down", according to a school report dated January 30.
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