Elizabeth Thomas Honored In Tree Dedication; TBI Continues Their Search

Posted at 4:48 PM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-05 21:28:46-04

The community of Columbia remembered Elizabeth Thomas with the dedication of a tree planted in her honor, but investigators have also kept her top of mind with each new tip that has come in.

Officials with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have received more than a thousand tips over the past three weeks, but only one of them was a confirmed sighting of Elizabeth and her former teacher Tad Cummins.

Several alleged sightings from Memphis to Nashville and beyond have put the Thomas family on an emotional roller coaster.

Her father, although unwilling to speak on camera, said he's constantly in pain and cannot sleep well.

So far, the only confirmed sighting of Thomas and Cummins occurred in Oklahoma City, just two days after they left Maury County.

"By all appearances Elizabeth appears to be there with him voluntarily, but again, I want to emphasize the fact that just because she's there with him voluntarily and she's not screaming for help and she's not trying to run away from him that doesn't mean that he hasn't coerced her into being there," said Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper.

The surveillance video of the pair in Oklahoma was analyzed and picked apart by investigators.

"It showed me that maybe this wasn't quite as planned out as it could've been. Maybe they have gotten some lucky breaks. It was luck that nobody recognized them in Oklahoma City," said Cooper.

Officials said their luck may soon run out, but until then they'll continue to exhaust all efforts in their search.