COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – The father of Elizabeth Thomas, the 15-year-old girl who has been missing for more than three weeks, has a strong message for her and her former teacher accused of kidnapping her.
“I want to tell her, Elizabeth, that man may be telling you that nobody’s looking for you, or he may even be telling you that nobody wants you home,” Anthony Thomas said. “Don’t listen to that. Everything he said to all the kids, not just you, has been a lie. He’s nothing but a liar. We all want you home. We all need you home.”
Thomas and 50-year-old Tad Cummins disappeared from Columbia on Monday, March 13. The pair has only been spotted once on surveillance video at an Oklahoma Walmart two days later.
“I would like to just urge Tad Cummins, I know you’re keeping up with all this and you’re filtering,” Anthony Thomas said. “You’re not letting her see how much people out here love her. You’re depriving her of that. It would make better sense for you to turn yourself in to law enforcement. If you turn yourself in, there are laws that will guarantee your general safety.”
Since their disappearance, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has received more than 1,300 tips from nearly every state across the country.
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“Fundamentally, we’re still doing the work we need to do to try to take a look at these tips that are coming in to see if we can possibly substantiate them,” TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said.
The TBI is committed to finding Elizabeth and returning her safely to her family.
“We’re doing everything we can to locate Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins. That search is still active and ongoing. Let me say this to the public, we still want your tips. We want you to call 911 immediately if you spot them or that [silver Nissan Rogue with] Tennessee tag 976-ZPT. That’s still what we’re going with. We don’t have any information that they’re in any kind of other vehicle at this point, so that’s the vehicle we’re still talking about,” DeVine said.
On Wednesday, a tree was planted in Columbia in honor of Thomas as part of Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is sponsored by the Department of Corrections and Board of Parole.
Thomas is a 15-year-old white female with hazel eyes who 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.
It remains unknown if they were still traveling in Cummins’ silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tag 976-ZPT. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.