SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Court documents say a Tennessee teacher charged with kidnapping a 15-year-old student and driving her to California had planned to take the girl to Mexico. Reports say the man went as far as taking a boat from San Diego on a test run.
Authorities credit the caretaker of a remote northern California property for helping police find missing Elizabeth Thomas Thursday and arrest her alleged abductor, fired teacher 50-year-old Tad Cummins. Thomas has since been returned home to her family.
Federal court documents filed Monday show Cummins switched vehicle license plates twice, disabled his vehicle’s GPS system, used aliases, altered his appearance, paid only in cash and used back roads during his nearly six weeks on the run.
Cummins vanished from Columbia, Tennessee with the teenage girl on March 13. An AMBER Alert was issued across the state of Tennessee the following day, and Cummins was added to the TBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list on March 17.