Teacher accused of kidnapping to face federal charges in Tennessee

The Tennessee teacher who allegedly kidnapped his former 15-year-old student had planned to escape to Mexico with the teen, according to federal court documents filed Monday.

He has been charged with transporting a minor across state lines for criminal sexual intercourse, according to Jack Smith, the acting US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

She said they haven't discussed much about what happened over the more than a month that Elizabeth was missing with her former teacher, Tad Cummins. Cummins reportedly told the tipster who called police that the girl was his 22-year-old wife.

A federal judge ordered that Tad Cummins remain detained in California as a flight risk and danger to the community Monday. The 15-year-old high school freshman is apprehensive about being around people, said family members, who have kept conversations light and not peppered her with questions about her 39-day ordeal as she tries to heal.

In carrying out his "audacious scheme", the 50-year-old Cummins switched vehicle license plates twice, disabled his vehicle's GPS system, used aliases, altered his appearance, paid only in cash and used back roads during his almost six weeks on the run, according to the documents.

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As part of his "audacious scheme", Cummins also used a small watercraft to conduct "a test run" for their trip to Mexico, according to the documents.

He is in federal custody in California and was expected to be arraigned in Sacramento, Siskiyou County Prosecutor Kirk Andrus said.

Instead, according to investigators, Cummins - toting two handguns, at least seven pills of the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis and $4,500 from a loan he'd just taken out - picked up Elizabeth and headed for Oklahoma.

Quinn said that she had been in contact with Cummins a handful of times that week. In both cases, the rooms only had one bed.

Cummins, who was sacked one day after the alleged kidnapping, had allegedly researched teen marriage online, specifically the age of consent, according to law enforcement officials.

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"They let us go two-by-two to speak to her and stand at a distance at first because she'd been through a lot", the father said, adding, "I had to keep looking to make sure it was her".

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it worked tirelessly for the past five weeks, looking into more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states.

Elizabeth was flown to Tennessee Friday where she was reunited with friends and family, the family's attorney said.

Thomas' father said last week he believes his daughter was "brainwashed" by Cummins.

Kat Bozeman told WJBF's sister station, News 2, that her 15-year-old sister still isn't quite home.

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