Ex-teacher charged when student is found
A former Tennessee high school teacher accused of abducting a 15-year-old student in March was arrested Thursday in Northern California, where the teenager was also safely recovered, authorities said.
Tad Cummins, 50, who disappeared in mid-March with Elizabeth Thomas, had been charged with aggravated kidnapping and having sexual contact with a minor.
Police had thought Cummins was armed with two handguns, but he was arrested without incident outside Cecilville, about 60 miles south of the California-Oregon border, said Kelly Giordano, spokeswoman for the Siskiyou County Sheriff ’s Office.
Acting on a tip from local residents, Siskiyou County authorities found Cummins’s vehicle Thursday morning and dispatched a special response team that found the pair several hours later, Giordano said.
Cummins will be arraigned in Siskiyou County Superior Court before being extradited to Tennessee, she said.
Jack Smith, the acting U. S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, said his office would add a federal charge against Cummins, for transportation of a minor across state lines with the purpose of having criminal sexual intercourse. The federal charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.