TBI Releases New Video, Photos Of AMBER Alert Suspect

Posted at 6:41 AM, Mar 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 18:02:54-04

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released new photos of the suspect at the center of an AMBER Alert involving a Maury County teenager. 

TBI officials said Tad Cummins kidnapped 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas on March 13. On Monday, they released new surveillance photos and video of Cummins that were taken one week before their disappearance.   

Cummins had just been suspended from Culleoka Unit School following accusations he had an inappropriate relationship with the teen.



A second surveillance video from Walmart in Columbia shows Cummins in the women's cosmetics isle, looking at hair dye.



Now his wife and the community have pleaded for him to surrender and bring Elizabeth home.

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“He can run but he cannot hide. The law enforcement will find him. Every day that he's a fugitive his situation gets worse,” said Randall Scott, a former Columbia police officer, who lives next door to Cummins on Haven Drive. 

The search for the pair has expanded nationwide and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has gotten involved.

Monday, Elizabeth's father, Anthony Thomas, spoke to NewsChannel 5.

"We're not happy at all," he said.  "It's just not the same without her."

Elizabeth's father asked the public to remain on the lookout for Elizabeth and Cummins, asking them to look for what he said was Elizabeth's most recognizable feature:

"Pay attention to the pictures where she's smiling," he said.  "She can change her hair color, she can put on makeup, but you're not going to mistake that smile."

The TBI has released a timeline of events:

  • APPROXIMATELY 7:30-7:45 AM CST: A friend of Elizabeth Thomas dropped Thomas off at the Shoney’s in Columbia, Tennessee.
  • 8:32 AM CST: Surveillance video appears to show Tad Cummins at the nearby Shell station, fueling his Nissan Rogue.
  • 12:41 PM CST: The Maury County Sheriff’s Department entered the child as ‘missing’ in NCIC, the nation’s law enforcement internal communications database.
  • 3:06 PM CST: Information places Thomas in the area of Decatur, Alabama.

Tuesday, March 14th:

  • 3:49 PM CST: The Maury County Sheriff’s Department officially requested an alert.
  • 4:18 PM CST: TBI issued an Endangered Child Alert.
  • 4:49 PM CST: The Maury County Sheriff’s Department secures the warrant for Cummins, charging him with one count of sexual contact with a minor.
  • 5:53 PM CST: Due to the warrant being placed against Cummins, TBI upgraded its alert to an AMBER ALERT.  

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 (1-800-824-3463).