Details are trickling in after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced that 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas has been found safe and 50-year-old Tad Cummins has been arrested.
The two of been the subject of a nationwide manhunt and AMBER Alert for the past five weeks.
According to ABC News, a local sheriff’s office revealed that Tad’s vehicle was spotted in northern California, just 120 miles south of the Oregon border.
Specifically, his Nissan Rogue was found in Siskiyou County in the forested and mountainous Shasta Cascade region.
According to The Tennessean, Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office officials said Tad’s vehicle was found Wednesday night.
Strangely enough, according to a TBI press release, the pair was found at a commune in Cecilville. No further details about the commune were provided.
Considering how long they stayed missing, many authorities speculated that they had left the country.
Cummins surrendered without incident.
TBI Director Mark Gwyn said, “Our intelligence analysts and agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this AMBER Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states. What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end. We are extremely thankful the hard work of all partners in this search has paid off. We’re also grateful for the public’s support and vigilance throughout this search effort.”
Tad is awaiting extradition to Tennessee. He is facing charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor.
After Elizabeth disappeared from Tennessee March 13 with her former teacher and suspected pedophile, the only confirmed sighting of the two was at a Walmart in Oklahoma City two days later.
Elizabeth’s family claims that Tad had groomed Elizabeth into having an affair with him and that witnesses reported Tad stalking her while he was still her teacher.
According to Fox News, Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper said the two were exchanging romantic e-mails across the school’s e-mail system.
More details will come as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation holds a press conference Thursday afternoon.
They said they are “Gathering as many details as possible to share.”
Praise the Lord Elizabeth was found safe!