Earlier this year, people closely followed the story of Tennessee teen Elizabeth Thomas, who was abducted by her high school teacher. The high-profile case ended after she and her abductor, Tad Cummins, were found on a commune.
Thomas spoke with a reporter for the very first time earlier this week. While Thomas was a fast food restaurant with two children she was babysitting, a reporter approached her, reported People.
“I don’t regret it, nor do I say it was the right thing to do,” said Elizabeth, now 16, in an interview with the Columbia Daily Herald.
“It was an experience I’ll have to live with the rest of my life,” she added.
She also opened up about how all the talk about her has made her feel. She quite clearly wishes everyone would just allow her to heal in peace.
“There’s been so much speculation about me,” revealed Thomas. “There are people saying, ‘She’s not talking for this reason. She’s not talking for that reason.’ It’s not that. It’s just the publicity is affecting people. Everyone just needs to calm down.”
She continued, “I am a human being. I can answer things fairly. But people are asking things that are too personal. People are talking to me like they know me. They didn’t talk to me before. They didn’t try to know me before. They have only liked me since I came back.”
The whole nation knows Elizabeth Thomas. She was the subject of a national AMBER Alert in March. After 38 days, she was finally found with her health sciences teacher, 51-year-old Tad Cummins, a then-married father-of-two. They were living in a shed in Northern California.
Cummins was arrested, and he is currently behind bars. Authorities charged him with kidnapping and sex crimes.
While Cummins was behind bars, Elizabeth was receiving therapy. She’s returned to Columbia, TN, but she’s no longer living with her father or attending public school. Instead, she’s living with her older brother, and she’s being homeschooled.
“It’s just safer to be back with my brother instead of in the middle of everything,” said Elizabeth.
The newspaper asked Elizabeth what her life is like now. Surprisingly, she’s very positive.
“I can’t really complain right now. I babysit kids, and I work in Columbia. I am studying at home.” She added, “[I’m] happy to be back and that people are so accepting.”
Elizabeth isn’t focused on the past. Instead, she’s looking forward. According to the interview, she wants to go to Middle Tennessee State University to become a medical examiner.
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