COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Maury County Schools has released a timeline of its investigation into Tad Cummins, a former teacher who allegedly kidnapped 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas, prompting a statewide AMBER Alert.
At the time of their disappearance, Cummins had just been suspended from Culleoka Unit School following accusations he had an inappropriate relationship with the teen.
“On behalf of the Maury County Public School system, we hope and pray for the safe return of Elizabeth Thomas,” said Superintendent Dr. Christopher J. Marczak. “We continue to cooperate with law enforcement in the sharing of all pertinent information while the search continues.”
Back in January, a student reportedly spotted Cummins kissing Thomas in his classroom and was described to be "freaked out" by the incident.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a photo of the pair together at school days before the alleged incident.
Documents obtained by NewsChannel 5 detailed the alleged inappropriate relationship between the two.
On Tuesday, Maury County Schools released the following timeline of its investigation into Cummins:
Tues., Jan. 24, 2017: Culleoka Unit School administration was notified by a student concerning an allegation of contact witnessed between Cummins and a student. The complaint stated, “It wasn’t like a make out kiss, just a peck on the lips.” Culleoka Unit School Administration gathered all information that day from the student who was said to have witnessed the alleged inappropriate contact.
Wed., Jan. 25, 2017: MCPS Chief of Staff, Dr. Amanda Hargrove, was contacted by Culleoka Unit School administration, and Dr. Hargrove immediately began an investigation.
Thurs., Jan. 26 – Mon., Jan. 30, 2017: As per Board policy 5.500 and 6.305, Dr. Hargrove and staff investigated the allegations by interviewing all pertinent parties, including students, staff and administration.
Fri., Jan. 27, 2017: The student named in the alleged concern was removed from Cummins’ class and schedule by Culleoka Unit School Administration.
Tues., Jan. 31, 2017: MCPS administration was notified by law enforcement that Cummins was the subject of a criminal investigation. MCPS turned over all known information and documentation to law enforcement about the recent allegations against Cummins at Culleoka Unit School, which were still under investigation by MCPS.
Fri., Feb. 3, 2017: Late Friday afternoon, MCPS received an allegation that Cummins had been in contact with the same student, despite explicit directives from his supervisor not to interact.
Mon., Feb. 6, 2017: At 8 a.m., Dr. Hargrove met with Cummins and suspended him from his duties at Culleoka Unit School. 8. Cummins’ final termination from MCPS was prompted by his allegedly fleeing the area on March 13, reported to MCPS by law enforcement. A termination document was finalized by MCPS on March 14.