More information continues to pour in about pervy former teacher, Tad Cummins, and Elizabeth Thomas, the 15-year-old he reportedly abducted from Tennessee.
Elizabeth Thomas is the victim of a dangerous man who groomed her for months before abducting her and fleeing with her. The grooming didn’t go unnoticed by students and staff members at Culleoka Unit High School. Cummins was reprimanded for his behavior towards Elizabeth, yet according to the Thomas family’s attorney, Jason Whatley, many students, and reportedly even staff members, place the blame on a 15-year-old child.
During school hours, Elizabeth dealt with other kids calling her vicious names, such as “sl**” and “wh***,” likely because in their minds, she got the “cool teacher” in trouble. According to the father’s attorney, even staff members reportedly joined in, allegedly calling the young girl, words to the effect a “tramp.”
“The picture we’re getting from these students is there began to be a lot of students who took the side of Tad Cummins in the alleged kissing incident. And the cryptic, strange response was to ridicule her for being a sl** and a who** and this and that. And those are the kid of words, the exact words, we were told were used. And unfortunately, allegedly – this is all allegations we haven’t confirmed – but there were also similar statements, according to these sources, overheard from some teachers talking about this incident where words along those lines were used,” Whatley said.
“Let’s be clear. We don’t know which teachers. We haven’t confirmed. I know a lot of these teachers and we pray that’s not true. But that’s the report coming out. The report is also that Elizabeth heard some of these comments,” Whatley said.
“We didn’t know firsthand the nature of what was being said. That’s coming from students,” he said.
To make matters worse, some people at her school, and many people online, are blaming Elizabeth for her own abduction, claiming her social media profile indicates that she was a wife that was in love, which makes it OK for her to flee with Cummins. It needs to be reiterated that a 15-year-old, by Tennessee law, cannot legally make the decision to leave with an adult whose not a parent or legal guardian.
“She hears it, of course, and is destroyed by this. And wants to get away. And all of this has been created by Tad Cummins. It’s a perfect storm for him, and he uses that to take her away. After he’s the one who created the problem to start with,” Nancy Grace said.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Elizabeth did not leave willingly. In a press conference earlier this week, they made it clear that the abduction was not a romantic escape, but a kidnapping.
“This is no fairytale,” Said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “This is a case of kidnapping. She’s a high school freshman; he’s a former teacher this is and was not a romance. This was manipulation.”
Whatley agreed. The attorney indicated that Cummins, a master manipulator, created such chaos in the 15-year-old’s mind that she’s basically under his spell.
“Think about the irony here. he creates this situation and then serves as the savior to take her away. It’s mind boggling to think it could work that way, but it’s exactly what happened,” Whatley said.
“He has overcome her ability to say no. He’s a master manipulator. This is a man. A dangerous man who knew exactly what he was doing,” Whatley added.
Meanwhile, the duo are still out there somewhere. There’s rumors that Cummins took the teen to Mexico, which tends to be a popular spot for people to flee when hiding from authorities. However, law enforcement officials can still find suspects who hide out in Mexico, such as the “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch, who fled to Puerta Vallarta with his mother to evade arrest.