Abandoned family of teacher who allegedly kidnapped student speaks out
A 50-year-old teacher reportedly took guns, money and his wife's car before kidnapping his 15-year-old former student and taking her on a 2,500-mile cross-country ride that ended last Thursday, court records state.
Tad Cummins had just been suspended from his job when he took out a $4,500 loan and left a note to his wife saying he had to go to Virginia Beach or the D.C. area to clear his head.
Instead of going to the beach, he headed to Columbia, Tenn., to pick up Elizabeth Thomas in his wife's car, thus starting a six-week manhunt.
Weeks after his disappearance, Cummin's wife Jill had an emotional interview with ABC News. She forgave her husband, but noted she could never trust him again.
"Of course I love him. I forgive him and I still love him," she told ABC. "But it doesn't mean I could ever trust him again. Because he betrayed my trust to a point that that's totally broken."
"I go from feeling really so hurt I can't even function, to really mad. It's very selfish of him to have done this to us. So, I'm mad part of the time. And then sometimes I have this peace that comes from God," she added. "She would come to him with her problems about her past. He was friendly with everyone."
Jill Cummins filed for divorce in early April.
Tad Cummins was arrested on Thursday in California after a tipster led police to the spot.
In a recent interview with ABC, the Cummins daughters were just as forgiving as their mother.
Tad Cummin's family, his wife and daughters Erica and Ashlee, released a joint statement to finish "this chapter of their ordeal."
The family also thanked the police, the media and the judicial system for helping them move forward and bring Elizabeth Thomas home.
The statement reads as follows:
Jill, Erica and Ashlee are glad this chapter of the ordeal is over. They are grateful to all law enforcement for their hard work. Jill would like to specifically thank the Maury County Sheriff Department and individually thank Bucky Rowland and Nathan Johns for how they handled the investigation and search for Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas.
Jill, Erica and Ashlee also appreciate the local and national media for keeping this story in the spotlight. They are thankful that Elizabeth Thomas will soon be returned to her family where she can begin the healing process.
Jill, Erica and Ashlee have the utmost respect for District Attorney Brent Cooper and Acting US Attorney John L. Smith and they trust the judicial system to administer justice upon Tad Cummins and leave that up to the capable individuals involved in the judicial system.