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An ex-teacher accused of abducting a 15-year-old girl planned to run to Mexico


UPDATE April 24 at 3:38 p.m. EST: 

Former Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins, who is accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old student, had planned to flee to Mexico, federal prosecutors said Monday. 

“He then planned to seek passage to countries further south of Mexico,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hitt wrote in court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times

"In furtherance of this plan, the defendant procured a small watercraft and conducted a test run to cross into Mexico across the water from San Diego. The defendant also considered the feasibility of a land crossing into Mexico." 

Authorities have requested that Cummins remain in their custody because he is considered flight risk. 

Prosecutors said Cummins left his wife a "misleading note" about the direction in which he would be traveling. 

In addition, ABC News reports that he altered his appearance, switched license plates twice and disabled his vehicle's GPS. 

Cummins was arrested last Thursday after a five-week, nationwide search. 

UPDATE 1:50 p.m. EST:  The two were found at a commune in California, WSMV reports.

ORIGINAL STORY: Former Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins, accused of abducting 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas, has been arrested, ABC News reports. 

Thomas, who was found safe, had disappeared March 13. She and Cummins were spotted on surveillance footage at an Oklahoma City Walmart nearly 700 miles from Thomas' home.  

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said last month that Cummins "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom [the teen] ... in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her." 

Cummins was fired within a day of Thomas' disappearance. 

One of Thomas' classmates said she saw Thomas kissing Cummins before she disappeared. State officials said they were also spotted in Alabama. 


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