Missing Tennessee teen, abductor spotted in Oklahoma

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Elizabeth Thomas, the 15-year-old Tennessee girl who disappeared with her teacher nearly three weeks ago, has been spotted at a store in Oklahoma City, officials say. Anyone with information is urged to call 911 immediately.

Elizabeth disappeared on March 13 and is believed to be with 50-year-old Tad Cummins, a former teacher at her school in Maury County. The exact circumstances of her disappearance remain unclear and it is uncertain whether Elizabeth left willingly.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said on Friday that the two were seen shopping at a Walmart along Interstate 240 in Oklahoma City on March 15. Surveillance footage shows that both have altered their appearance; Cummins has darkened his hair while Elizabeth is seen with red hair.

“Cummins used cash to purchase various food items, but did not purchase anything else of significance,” the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. “Efforts to determine what vehicle they were traveling in remain ongoing.”

The sighting, which was not reported until this week, marks the first confirmed sighting of the pair.

Cummins worked as a teacher at the Culleoka Unit School until he was suspended on February 6 over alleged inappropriate contact with Elizabeth. The pair disappeared on the morning of March 13, after which Cummins was fired and an amber alert was issued. It is unclear if the girl left willingly.

Cummins is believed to be armed with two handguns and has arrest warrants against him for Sexual Contact with a Minor and Aggravated Kidnapping. He has also been added to the TBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted with a $1,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

Anyone who sees either Elizabeth or Cummins is urged to call 911 immediately, or call TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND if you have any other information that could help investigators. The pair is last known to have traveled in a Silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee license plate 976ZPT.

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