Elizabeth Thomas’ father files petition to get witness testimony in AMBER Alert case

(Graphic: WKRN; Photos: TBI)

MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The father of Elizabeth Thomas filed a petition Thursday asking a judge to allow him to question potential witnesses as the hunt for his daughter and Tad Cummins continues.

Anthony Thomas filed a petition for perpetuation of testimony, a procedure that—if granted—would allow the depositions of witnesses be taken in order to preserve their testimony ahead of a possible trial.

RELATED: Father has strong message for both Elizabeth Thomas, Tad Cummins

The document says Thomas believes at least two witnesses, both kids who attend Elizabeth’s school, have information that could help lead authorities to finding Elizabeth. He says one of the witnesses has stopped speaking the family and their family, and the other might have more information than they’ve let on.

Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas (Courtesy: TBI)

Thomas wants to be able to question those friends in the hopes of proving his daughter is being falsely imprisoned and was coerced, groomed, and intimidated by Cummins.

MORE: What is grooming, and what are the signs?

The father goes on to explain the information he’s been told regarding his daughter’s relationship with Cummins over the past several months, both in and outside of school, shedding light on new details not previously known.

According to the petition, Thomas was informed of the following:

  • Cummins allegedly had picked up his 15-year-old daughter to go out for a meal, allegedly threatening her that if she didn’t go there would be repercussions at school.
  • Elizabeth reportedly told siblings and other friends that she was scared of Cummins and felt “in over her head” in regards to their relationship.
  • Cummins allegedly frequented where Elizabeth worked and, at times, Elizabeth hid from him and asked other employees to lie about he being there because she didn’t want to see or speak with him.
  • Cummins allegedly told Thomas that his future career was ruined because the kissing incident at school, leading to her feel guilty, and the best option was for them to leave. Her father writes in petition that he believes Cummins played on his daughter’s guilt, causing her to feel compelled to leave with him.
  • Thomas said he was told his daughter was often left alone with Cummins at school for non-academic reasons in the months before they vanished with another student reportedly seeing the 15-year-old sleeping in his classroom alone.

    Here’s Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas at school in January, days before his alleged inappropriate contact with her. (Courtesy: TBI)
  • At least one witness reported Elizabeth was given a special seat near Cummins, saying he would give her money and gifts, and other students saw physical contact between the two, including Cummins rubbing her back and shoulders while at school.
  • Cummins allegedly admitted to other people that he saw himself as a “father figure” and told other people Elizabeth came from an abusive home. Her father states in the petition her mother was forbidden to have contact with her in 2015 due to the mother’s abuse, and he believes Cummins used this “unfortunate fact and pounced upon the vulnerability of the child.”

Thomas also says he has received information there was a reputation or concern that existed for month’s at the school that Cummins and Elizabeth’s relationship was “unusually close,” establishing red flags.

Click here to read the full petition.

Elizabeth and 50-year-old 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.

Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas at a Walmart in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on March 15, 2017. (Courtesy: TBI)

PHOTOS: AMBER Alert for Elizabeth Thomas

Elizabeth 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.

Click here for more on the AMBER Alert for Elizabeth Thomas.