Lawyer: Teacher was seen kissing missing Tennessee student

Authorities said they believe Cummins used his position as a teacher at Thomas's high school to groom her to potentially sexually exploit her. Cummins faces charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor, but authorities say his penalty will be less severe if he turns himself in with the girl.

Investigators believe Cummins brainwashed Elizabeth into abandoning her family to be with him. She was last seen at a Columbia, Tenn. restaurant. "Thomas is believed to be with 50-year-old Tad Cummins, a white male, who stands 6'0", weighs about 200 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes. "He didn't just steal from me, he stole from the Maury County community", said Elizabeth's father, Anthony Thomas. "In fact, it only heightens it", investigators said. Cummins' wife and Thomas' family have also issued emotional pleas.

In a news release, the TBI said Cummins may be keeping Elizabeth out of sight of authorities, possibly sleeping in his auto or in a rural community.

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National Bolos have been issued for the former teacher suspected of abducting the 15 year old student last Monday morning.

"Tad, this is not you".

Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Thomas has been missing for almost a week.

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The Thomas family's attorney told PEOPLE that hours before her alleged kidnapping, Thomas told her family she was meeting a female friend - but to call the police if she went missing. However, the lack of confirmed sightings leads them to believe Cummins could have Thomas hidden from the public view or far away from Tennessee, according to an update released Monday afternoon.

The teenage girl is described as being white with blond hair and hazel eyes, and is 5 foot 5 inches and 120 pounds. The same day Cummins was seen in the area of Decatur, Ala.

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

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Anyone with any information regarding Thomas and Tad Cummins's whereabouts is asked to contact the authorities immediately by calling the Maury County Sheriff's Office at 931-388-5151 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) at 1-800-TBI-FIND. See more photos, including one of Cummins' vehicle, here. There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to his capture. "I urge Mr. Cummins to pick up that phone and call someone. and let us know where you are so you can start dealing with the consequences". He may be driving a 2015 silver Nissan Rogue with a Tennessee license plate number 976-ZPT.


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