Tenn. teacher refilled Cialis prescription before abducting teen


The 50-year-old Tennessee teacher arrested for running away with his 15-year-old student prepared for the trip by picking up two refills of his erectile dysfunction medication.

Tad Cummins expressed relief to officials who collared him Thursday in Cecilville, Calif. — 2,400 miles from his home in Culleoka, Tenn., CNN reported

“I’m glad it’s over,” he reportedly told the SWAT team that arrested him.

Cummins and former student Elizabeth Thomas had been on the run since March 13, and authorities scoured for clues as to where they were headed.

Tenn. teacher accused of abducting student arrested in California

A federal complaint filed against the former teacher at Culleoka Unit School revealed Cummins refilled his Cialis prescription and made reservations at Super 8 Motels in Oklahoma City and Guymon for the weekend of March 16. He arranged for the rooms, each of them with a lone bed, under his own name before going on the run.

Authorities said the actions hinted that he planned to leave with the 15-year-old girl. It’s still unclear if she willingly ran away with her ex-teacher.

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Tad Cummins was arrested Thursday after a nearly two-month search.

(HANDOUT/REUTERS)

The same day he vanished with Thomas, Cummins told his wife he needed to borrow her Nissan Rogue to go to a job interview at the Williamson County Medical Center. He had been suspended from his teaching job for his interactions with a student and additionally took out a $4,500 loan to meet his “financial needs during his suspension from work without pay.”

He took the loan money as well as a pair of handguns, clothes and toiletry items before he began his weeks-long run with his former student. While they were dodging cops, Cummins also managed to visit a Walmart where he purchased women’s razors, chocolates, and a “commonly used lubricant for sexual intercourse,” according to the complaint.

Family pleads for missing teacher who kidnapped girl to return

Elizabeth is now “en route” to Tennessee where she’ll be reunited with her parents, the family’s attorney told local NBC affiliate WSMV.

State and federal law officials began moving her back after she underwent medical reviews, he added.

“We have mental health people that are engaged actively in this case that are going to be working with her for her best interest,” said the attorney Jason Whatley. “We’re following their recommendations completely.” 

Elizabeth Thomas was found with Cummins at a remote cabin.

Elizabeth Thomas was found with Cummins at a remote cabin.

(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

Cops finally got word of their whereabouts after a Cecilville groundskeeper notified them that the pair had been staying at an unfinished cabin since earlier this week.

A sheriff’s official at the scene told “Good Morning America” that Elizabeth’s state of mind varied at the scene.

“She was laughing, she was crying,” he said. “She was kind of an emotional roller coaster as you can imagine.”

Cummins is due in court Friday, and faces state and federal charges.

Elizabeth’s father, Anthony Thomas, told “Good Morning America” he believes his daughter was brainwashed.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey announced Cummins had been arrested without incident.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey announced Cummins had been arrested without incident.

(JIM URQUHART/REUTERS)

Thomas added his daughter would need therapy, and her family planned to be patient with her.  

Tennessee Bureau of Investigations spokesman Josh DeVine told NBC News’ “Today” Friday morning that Elizabeth appears to be in a healthy physical state.

The state, he added, will speak with her about what exactly drove the two to disappear.

“We’re going to be talking with her,” he said. “We want to know exactly what the set of events looked like.”

Tags:
tennessee
missing persons
kidnapping
elizabeth thomas

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