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Unexpected News Surfaces 1 Month After Elizabeth Thomas' Kidnapping

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is asking the public to keep their eyes open for missing teen Elizabeth Thomas, and her teacher, Tad Cummins, who allegedly kidnapped her. After weeks without any leads, the 15-year-old was spotted with Cummins coming out of a Walmart in Oklahoma.

This was the first tip the TBI has gotten about Thomas that panned out. More than 1,100 tips have come in since the teen disappeared in mid-March, but the Walmart sighting has been confirmed after the two were captured on the store's security surveillance camera.

A multistate manhunt is in effect for Cummins, 50, who is wanted for aggravated kidnapping in connection to Thomas's disappearance. An Amber Alert has been issued.

Some have suggested the teen fled voluntarily with the teacher, but those claims have been shot down. TBI Director Mark Gwyn "Let me be very clear this morning: She is 15, a child, he is 50, a grown man. This was not a romance. This was manipulation solely to benefit Tad Cummins... we remain gravely concerned for the well being of this girl. Right now, Elizabeth may not realize she is a victim."

Gwyn is urging Cummins to turn himself in. "A self-proclaimed man of faith, you have the power to answer the prayers of your family, of the community and so many people across the community and bring Elizabeth home," he said.

Gwyn also promises Thomas that 'we will not stop until we find you and bring you home'.

Authorities are asking that people remain alert. Thomas is a 15-year-old girl, white, with blonde hair and blue eyes, approximate 5 feet tall and 120 pounds. The video surveillance from the Oklahoma Walmart show the girl’s hair may have been dyed red.

Cummins is described as 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eye. The Walmart video shows his hair has been significantly darkened since he was last seen.

Source: CBS News
Photo: CBS News

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