‘We are going to get her back’: Family pleads for safe return of missing teen

(Photo: WKRN)

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – About 100 people gathered at Riverwalk Park for a candlelight vigil Saturday night in honor of Elizabeth Thomas, who is at the center of a statewide Amber Alert.

Her father, sister, and brother were among the loved ones who made an emotional plea to help find her.

“I want you to come home, because we all love you. I want to see you again,” one of Thomas’ sisters cried on the microphone.

(Photo: WKRN)

The 15-year-old was reported missing on Monday. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says 50-year-old Tad Cummins picked her up in Columbia.

PHOTOS: AMBER Alert for Elizabeth Thomas

He is a former teacher and is now facing charges for aggravated kidnapping and having sexual contact with Thomas at school.

“What Tad did, he stole my daughter from me, but Maury County is a big community. He didn’t just steal from me, he stole from the whole community,” Elizabeth’s father Anthony Thomas stated to the crowd.

Elizabeth’s great aunt also took the opportunity to speak about the outpouring of support.

Mary Catherine Elizabeth Thomas (Courtesy: TBI)

“What strikes me tonight is, I look and I see these candles and they are candles against darkness.”

Elizabeth’s father spoke confidentially about getting his little girl back home.

“We are going to get her back. We are going to get her back. Please help us bring her home.”

The TBI has received 250 tips from people in 24 states.

Thomas and Cummins were last seen in a silver, 2015 Nissan rogue, with Tennessee tag: 976ZPT.  Anyone who sees it should call 911.