Video Released Of Teacher At Center Of Amber Alert

Posted at 12:12 PM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 08:47:07-04

 An arrest warrant was issued for the suspect at the center of an Amber Alert involving a 15-year-old Maury County girl. 

Sources told NewsChannel 5 that a misdemeanor warrant was issued for 50-year-old Tad Cummins for alleged sexual contact with a minor.

MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 15-Year-Old Out Of Maury County 

An Endangered Child Alert was issued for Elizabeth Thomas on Tuesday, but was later upgraded to an Amber Alert.

Her father apparently reported her missing that morning. Then Cummins' wife reported her husband missing later Monday evening.   

Cummins, a suspended Maury County teacher, was being investigated for an alleged inappropriate incident with a minor student. He was suspended from Culleoka Unit School in February.

Indications revealed that Thomas, who attends the Culleoka Unit School, may have left willingly with Cummins. However, the TBI does believe that she is at risk.

The Maury County Public School District issued the below statement:

"Maury County Public Schools suspended the Culleoka Unit School teacher involved in the law enforcement investigation once we were notified of the allegations. Since then, the teacher has been dismissed as a result of the investigation. The district does not tolerate any manner of behavior that is alleged in this incident and will take swift action to remove parties from school campuses who are involved with investigations of this type."

Sources have also revealed that he allegedly left with a large amount of cash and has not used any credit cards since leaving.

Both have turned off their cell phones, making them more difficult to track. Cummins’ wife reportedly told investigators that he left with two handguns; however, he is a permit holder. 

At this point, investigators said there's little doubt that Cummins knows they are looking for them. They believe he's intentionally now avoiding public places.

TBI officials held a press conference Wednesday afternoon urging the public to be vigilant. Josh Devine said the department has received 80 tips so far. "We've been really disappointed," said Devine.

Investigators released surveillance video of Cummins filling up his gas tank before leaving with Thomas.


Thomas was described as having blonde hair and hazel eyes, about 120 pounds and 5'5" tall. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings in Columbia and may be in the area of Decatur, Alabama.

Officials asked anyone with information on where she could be to call the Maury County Sheriff's Office at 931-375-8654 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.