NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday it will keep doing everything it can to bring missing Elizabeth Thomas home.
The 15-year-old has been missing for more than two weeks and is believed to be with her former high school teacher 50-year-old Tad Cummins.
Despite the agency receiving around 1,100 tips, neither has been seen since Monday, March 13.
PHOTOS: AMBER Alert for Elizabeth Thomas
“We’re going to keep doing everything and anything to bring Elizabeth home,” TBI Director Mark Gwyn said. “We will not stop until we find you and bring you home. We will do everything we can to make that happen as soon as possible.”
Gwyn added that Thomas is a victim, though she may not realize that.
“She is 15 – a child. He is 50 – a grown man. This is not a romance,” he said.
Gwyn called the pair’s disappearance a “well-thought out kidnapping.”
“When a 50-year-old man kidnaps a 15-year-old girl we have reason to believe she is in danger,” Gwyn said.
Thomas’ family told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that they believe she was not a willing participant.
“We all want her to know how much we care about her and how much we love her and want her home,” her father Anthony Thomas said.
Her sister Sarah added, “She didn’t want to go, she would have told me. She would have told me what’s going on. She tells me everything.”
Elizabeth and Sarah Thomas shared a bedroom and often secrets before her disappearance. Now, Sarah says she recalls some red flags.
“I asked her, ‘What was the matter?’ and she was acting like she didn’t want to be around anyone. She said he’s showing up to work and it’s making her uncomfortable. A few times when he showed up he tried to give her $20 to talk to her,” she said.
According to Sarah, her sister told managers at Chick-fil-A about the harassment as recently as the Saturday before she disappeared.
“She said, ‘Yeah, they know, but there’s nothing they can do. I was stuck behind the counter. I couldn’t run because he would see me. No matter how hard she would try to hide, Cummins would still try to find her,” Sarah Thomas told GMA.
The family continues to hope their message will somehow reach Thomas.
“Do whatever you have to do to come back to us,” they said. “Whatever is necessary to come back.”
A vigil will be held in Columbia this Sunday at the square at 7 p.m.
Thomas is a 15-year-old white female, with hazel eyes, stands 5 feet tall and weighs 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings.
Cummins is a white male, who stands 6 feet tall, weighs approximately 200 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes. He’s believed to be armed with two handguns and was last seen driving a Silver Nissan Rogue with TN license plate 976ZPT. Anyone who spots the SUV and can verify the license plate should call 911.
Cummins faces kidnapping in the AMBER Alert case and is also charged with sexual contact with a minor after he allegedly kissed Thomas at school earlier this year.
If you have information on Thomas or Cummins, call the Maury County Sheriff’s Office at 931-388-5151 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.