Tennessee girl safe, teacher arrested
NASHVILLE — A 15-year-old girl from Tennessee was rescued near a cabin in a remote part of northern California on Thursday, more than a month after her 50-year-old teacher kidnapped her and set off a nationwide manhunt, authorities said.
Health sciences teacher Tad Cummins surrendered to sheriff’s deputies without incident in Cecilville, Calif., hours after they had set up surveillance on his vehicle in the area. The girl was apparently healthy and unharmed, and authorities said their main concern was her emotional and mental state.
Cummins faces state charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor as well as a federal charge of taking a minor across state lines to have sex. If convicted of the federal charge, he faces at least 10 years in prison, acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith said.
Authorities declined to answer a question on whether the girl went willingly, saying it didn’t matter.
“At the end of the day she’s 15 years old, she’s 15 years old, she’s a young girl that’s with a grown man that’s 50 years old. He needs to be held accountable for kidnapping this girl,” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn said.