Teacher, missing student spotted in out-of-state Walmart days after disappearing

The Tennessee teen and her former teacher who vanished more than two weeks ago after the pair was caught kissing earlier this month have been spotted at a Walmart with altered appearances, the first confirmed sighting of the pair since they vanished more than two weeks ago.

Elizabeth Thomas, 15, and Tad Cummins, 50, were seen at a Walmart on East I-240 Service Road in Oklahoma City, Okla., on March 15, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said.

Thomas appeared to have dyed her hair dark red, while Cummins' beard was also darkened in what may have been an attempt to alter his appearance, surveillance images released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) show.

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Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins case
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Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins case
Tad Cummins, 50, a former Tennessee high school teacher accused of abducting a 15-year-old student in March, seen in this booking photo after his arrest by Siskiyou County Sheriff?s Department?s Special Response Team (SRT) in Cecilville area of Siskiyou County, California, U.S. on April 20, 2017. Courtesy SCSO/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey announces the arrest of fugitive Tad Cummins, a former high school teacher accused of kidnapping 15 year old student Elizabeth Thomas, in Yreka, California, U.S. April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
#TNAMBERAlert: She's a high school freshman. He was a teacher accused of kidnapping her. Let's find her now! UPDATE… https://t.co/PD9FWyaUQN
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey announces the arrest of fugitive Tad Cummins, a former high school teacher accused of kidnapping 15 year old student Elizabeth Thomas, in Yreka, California, U.S. April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
#TNAMBERAlert SIGHTING CONFIRMED: Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas were in Oklahoma City on March 15th. DETAILS:… https://t.co/ZZ5oy2fDuA
This has been upgraded to statewide AMBER ALERT: Suspect Tad Cummins was a teacher at Maury Co. Schools. Anyone w/… https://t.co/6QFON36i19
NEW PICTURE: Here's the last known photograph of Elizabeth Thomas prior to her alleged kidnapping. Spot her? 1-800-… https://t.co/a2h7G50wPw
VIDEO: Here's surveillance of AMBER Alert suspect Tad Cummins, days before disappearing with Elizabeth Thomas. https://t.co/j1fuc5VJWH
New surveillance video of Tad Cummins accused of kidnapping 15 y/o girl appears to show him looking at hair colorin… https://t.co/Iii6HND7oB
TBI: Elizabeth Thomas & Tad Cummins may be wearing the clothes they disappeared in when AMBER Alert was issued:… https://t.co/2uljf6bz8d
NEW PICTURES: Various shots of Ted Cummins in the past few weeks, including the vehicle he's believed to be driving… https://t.co/ldcK8s2Kaf
UPDATE: Here's the latest in our ongoing #TNAMBERAlert. We're doing everything we can to bring Elizabeth home.… https://t.co/Iu084rDY9m
MEDIA: Here's a quick video clip of Tad Cummins & Elizabeth Thomas entering the Walmart in Oklahoma City on 3/15. https://t.co/tIsI94rT6a
Tad Cummins, a former high school teacher accused of luring a 15-year-old student into his car outside of a restaurant and disappearing with the girl, is pictured in this police handout photo. Maury County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Tad Cummins, a former high school teacher accused of luring a 15-year-old student into his car outside of a restaurant and disappearing with the girl, is pictured in this police handout photo. Maury County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
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Cummins used cash to purchase various food items, but did not purchase anything else of significance, investigators said, noting they were still trying to determine what vehicle the pair was traveling in.

The surveillance images came from a Walmart store about 700 miles from Maury County, Tenn., where Thomas was last seen before disappearing on March 13, and are the first images obtained by the TBI since Cummins allegedly picked up the teen after she was dropped off by a friend at a local Shoney's restaurant, officials said.

Read: Teacher Researched Teen Marriage Online Before Kidnapping 15-Year-Old Student: Investigators

Cummins and Thomas were allegedly caught having "inappropriate contact" earlier this year, when another student saw them kissing in his classroom on January 23.

Both the teacher and student denied the incident, and Thomas was removed from Cummins' class. They were also told to stay away from each other.

But Thomas was reportedly seen in Cummins' classroom again on February 3.

Cummins was suspended at that point, and fired the day after he and Thomas disappeared.

In the days before he allegedly kidnapped Thomas, Cummins is believed to have researched teen marriage and about his Nissan Rogue in an effort to learn if any of the car's features could be tracked by law enforcement, authorities said.

(Photo: INSIDE EDITION)

Brent Cooper, the district attorney for Maury County, said it's possible that Cummins may have fled the country with Thomas, telling ABC News that the man is religious and familiar with missionary work.

"He could easily blend into that kind of culture," Cooper said, noting that Cummins had previously invented a past for himself to appear more interesting to his students.

Read: Brother of Teen Allegedly Kidnapped By Teacher: 'I Do Believe He Has Some Control Over Her'

"He was kind of brainwashing all the kids into thinking he was something he wasn't," including a former FBI and CIA agent, Cooper said. "I'm sure all that played into Elizabeth's feelings toward him. It was a complete deception."

As of Friday, the TBI has received more than 1,200 tips from across the country.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-TBI-FIND, or to call 911 immediately if Cummins' vehicle is spotted.

Watch: Student Claims She Saw Teacher Kiss Girl, 15, Before Alleged Kidnapping

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