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Tad Cummins Planned To Take Elizabeth Thomas To Mexico By Boat: Prosecutors

25 April 2017

Tad Cummins, the Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old student and disappearing with her for five weeks, is due in court Monday.

He is facing many years of jail time, having been charged after his arrest with the federal crime of transporting a minor across state lines to have sexual intercourse.

The girl's disappearance, according to police, came more than a month after a student reported seeing Cummins kiss her.

On April 20, the teenager and Cummins were found on the other side of the country, in a remote area of Siskiyou County, California. The 15-year-old high school freshman is apprehensive about being around people, said family members, who have kept conversations light and not peppered her with questions about her 39-day ordeal as she tries to heal.

He's accused of travelling in disguise and using various techniques to avoid law enforcement, including taking back roads to travel through 9 states, disabling the Global Positioning System on his wife's 2015 Nissan Rogue, and switching the license plate twice.

As part of his "audacious scheme", Cummins also used a small watercraft to conduct "a test run" for their trip to Mexico, according to the documents.

Tad Cummins in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, California, on Monday.

Prosecutors requested that Cummins remain in custody and be returned to authorities in Tennessee. "You're speechless. You see them and you don't know what to say because she's been through something very traumatic".

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"I believe the Federal Bureau of Investigation are going to make sure she's healthy before she comes home", she said.

"This child loves food and she loves coffee", Bozeman said, adding that her sister is happy to "eat real food".

If convicted, Cummins faces life in prison. He surrendered without incident and has been cooperative with investigators. Court documents state Cummins meant to take the minor to Mexico.

Bozeman said the family has a hard time hearing the details of where Elizabeth and Tad stayed over the time and what evidence has been recovered.

Cummins faces charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor, authorities said.

Authorities learned that they had taken motel rooms in Oklahoma City on March 15 and 16 and in Guymon, Oklahoma, on March 16 and 17, according to the affidavit.

But Cummins' sister, Daphne Quinn, told NBC News on Sunday that she believed her brother had far less nefarious intentions.

The same day his daughter's alleged kidnapper appeared in court for the first time and he also filed for divorce from his wife, Anthony Thomas opened up to News 2 about everything he and his family been through. "She may not be exactly the person she was because there's a lot of experiences she's had".