Manhunt Intensifies For Missing Teacher, Student

Elizabeth Thomas Amber Alert

Elizabeth Thomas Amber Alert

The 50-year-old high school health teacher was on the verge of losing his job and his freedom after he'd been spotted kissing a 15-year-old student, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation remains concerned about the well-being of Elizabeth Thomas, 15 (L), who is a victim in an expanded AMBER alert and be on the lookout alert across the country.

On Tuesday, the school district in Maury County terminated Cummins in the wake of an ongoing investigation into alleged inappropriate contact he had with Thomas at the school earlier this year, the TBI relese said. Investigators say Cummins may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom the young girl in an effort to lure and sexually exploit her.

He is a former teacher and is now facing charges for aggravated kidnapping and having sexual contact with Thomas at school.

Cummins was seen driving a Silver Nissan Rogue with a Tennessee license plate 976ZPT, according to the TBI.

"Thomas is 5'5" and 120 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes.

Investigators say Thomas was last seen Monday morning being dropped off at a Shoney's restaurant in Columbia.

"The low number of tips, combined with the limited resources Cummins is believed to have in his possession, leads investigators to believe he may be keeping her out of view of the general public".

TBI reports that there have been no credible sightings since then.

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Over the weekend, family and friends gathered at a candle light vigil praying for Elizabeth's return and pleading for Cummins to surrender.

At an emotional press conference on Friday, Cummins' wife, Jill, said she was unaware of her husband's alleged involvement with Thomas.

"Tad, this is not you".

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also said in a news release that Cummins "potentially planned this abduction prior to Monday". "Please do the right thing, and turn yourself into the police and bring Elizabeth home".

She went on to speak to Tad saying, "this is not who you are".

Cummins was sacked last week on the day after Elizabeth was allegedly kidnapped, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.

Cummins was sacked from his teaching job last week over allegedly inappropriate behavior with the teen.

With tears in her eyes and standing beside her pastor, Cummins spoke directly to her husband via the TV cameras: "We can help you get through this".

Anyone who provides information leading to Cummins' arrest will be eligible for a $1,000 reward.