Elizabeth Thomas family attorney says teen is safe; 'This was the abduction of an impressionable, little child'

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WGHP) -– The 15-year-old girl who was abducted and missing for more than a month with her former teacher is safe at home.

S. Jason Whatley, the Thomas family attorney released a statement on Friday, saying the teen is comfortable and resting and is currently being treated by mental health experts.

Thomas was kidnapped by her former teacher, 50-year-old Tad Cummins and the two fled from their small town of Culleoka, Tennessee, on March 13.

They disappeared a few weeks after a student reported seeing Cummins and Elizabeth kissing in a classroom.

Photos from the case:

16 PHOTOS
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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A call to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tip line led to a remote cabin in northern California where the Nissan Rogue at the center of the search was parked outside and the two inside.

After the capture, one federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines for the purpose of having criminal sexual intercourse was filed against Cummins.

The Thomas family attorney's entire statement is as follows:

Elizabeth Thomas is in a safe location with family and friends where she is comfortable and resting.

She is being evaluated and treated by mental health experts specializing in trauma. There is no doubt that she has suffered severe emotional trauma and that her process of recovery is only just beginning.

The family is extremely grateful for the thoughts and prayers of the nation and asks sincerely for those continued prayers as Elizabeth becomes able to process the last 39 days. The family asks for privacy as this journey begins.

On a personal note, I met Elizabeth for the first time. I was taken aback by who she is. Elizabeth is a little child. She could easily pass for 12. The primary photo used and reprinted so many times by law enforcement, the media, and even our office, is inaccurate. She is a little girl in every sense of the word. This was the abduction of an impressionable, little child.

S. Jason Whatley, Attorney

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