Disturbing new details emerged on Monday that suggest that Elizabeth Thomas, the 15-year-old reportedly kidnapped by her former teacher, Tad Cummins, did not want to go with him, according to a family lawyer who spoke exclusively with Nancy Grace.
Jason Whatley and his partner Corey Ricci, lawyers for Elizabeth’s father, Anthony Thomas, revealed that Tad Eric Cummins, 50, has an extreme dark side that hasn’t yet been spoken about. The revelation recently surfaced when investigators began deeply probing into his background. Currently, the information found is undisclosed while the investigation continues.
Yet, other aspects of Cummins’ twisted thinking were made apparent when Elizabeth reportedly confessed to her siblings that she was afraid of him. In one instance, Cummins allegedly forced her on a romantic date with him, on demand. When she hesitated, the pervy teacher allegedly told her that he’d kick her out of his classroom if she didn’t comply. He showed up to her home on several occasions when her father wasn’t home, demanding she hang out with him.
— TBI (@TBInvestigation) March 21, 2017
“This is a classic abduction,” Whatley said. “She was under his control and he had worked on it. He worked on her to program her. (Cummins was) molding her in a way that would make her do what he wanted. This is a classic abduction and anyone suggesting otherwise is just popping off, or don’t know.”
This process, or “grooming,” explains the conflicting stories and mixed messages that surfaced. While students and staff saw the pair kissing each other and investigators uncovered hidden the emails between the two, it’s highly likely that the 15-year-old child was scared and confused. Although rumors to continue to surface online that Elizabeth went willingly, Grace was quick to point out that a child, by law, cannot go willingly, even if they decided to get into the car with the predator.
“There are some comments on Elizabeth’s story online, and this person states that, ‘It was already known and now it’s confirmed, they were romantic. Why persist on calling it an abductions?’ People don’t get it. I mean, she is a child in the eyes of the law…she can’t give consent to this!”
Another example of fear and confusion: While Elizabeth was on her way to meet Cummins on March 13, the day she disappeared. We learned this morning that while a friend was driving her to a Shoney’s restaurant, Elizabeth changed her mind at the last minute and asked to be taken back home. The friend apparently refused because she had to be to work. Elizabeth begged, “please get me home.” If only she had.
Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas haven’t been located. The girl could be in extreme danger. Investigators urge the public to not approach him. Instead, contact 911, or the Maury County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office at (931) 375-8654, or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. You can also send an anonymous tip to Crime Online via our tip box at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 1-800-880-2356.
[Feature Photo: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation]