Officials Release Many Details Of What Happened to Elizabeth Thomas, Tad Cummins
Officials are holding a press conference following the rescue of 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas from her former teacher and suspected pedophile 50-year-old Tad Cummins.
The two were found in the woods in the far reaches of northern California five weeks after they disappeared from Tennessee.
Here’s what authorities are revealing:
— Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas were found near a remote cabin they were staying at in Cecilville, Calif., not far from the Oregon border. Authorities are not giving additional information on reports that the two were found at or near a commune, possibly the famed Black River Ranch. Authorities says they've backed off on reporting the cabin as part of a commune but did not say it wasn't a part of a commune.
— They were at the cabin for two weeks. That means three weeks passed between the time they went to the cabin and the time they originally left Tennessee on March 13 and were spotted at an Oklahoma City Walmart two days after.
— They were found based on a citizen tip, and authorities indicated that it was possibly a member of the commune who gave the tip.
— Tad's Nissan Rogue was found first. Authorities waited for Tad to return and took him into custody without incident. Elizabeth was rescued safely.
— Elizabeth will soon be returned to her home in Tennessee by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the leading investigators in this 5-week manhunt. Authorities are keeping the exact time of her return under wraps to protect her.
— Tad faces an aggravated kidnapping charge and sexual contact with a minor charge. He is facing federal charges as well and potentially 10 years or more in prison.
— Authorities thanked the media for keeping Elizabeth Thomas' disappearance in the news and thanked the public for helping lead law enforcement officers to her.
— Elizabeth is reportedly healthy and unharmed, but her emotional and mental states have not been released.
— Authorities would not say if Tad was armed at the time of his arrest.
— Officials emphasized that Elizabeth is a young girl who was under the manipulation of a much older man.