Teacher searched 'teen marriage' on internet prior to kidnapping 15-year-old

Teacher searched 'teen marriage' on internet prior to kidnapping 15-year-old

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A public school district in middle Tennessee released a timeline of events that led to the suspension and eventual firing of Tad Cummins, a 50-year-old accused of abducting 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas. The kidnapping sparked a nationwide Amber Alert, which has not received a credible sighting despite being active for more than a week.

Maury County Public Schools said there was a report of inappropriate contact between Cummins, a Culleoka Unit School CTE teacher, and Thomas.

The allegations were first brought up on January 24.

MCPS released the following timeline of events beginning from the first allegation:

1. Tues., Jan. 24, 2017: Culleoka Unit School administration was notified by a student concerning an allegation of contact witnessed between Cummins and a student. The complaint stated, "It wasn't like a make out kiss, just a peck on the lips." Culleoka Unit School Administration gathered all information that day from the student who was said to have witnessed the alleged inappropriate contact.

2. Wed., Jan. 25, 2017: MCPS Chief of Staff, Dr. Amanda Hargrove, was contacted by Culleoka Unit School administration, and Dr. Hargrove immediately began an investigation.

3. Thurs., Jan. 26 – Mon., Jan. 30, 2017: As per Board policy 5.500 and 6.305, Dr. Hargrove and staff investigated the allegations by interviewing all pertinent parties, including students, staff and administration.

4. Fri., Jan. 27, 2017: The student named in the alleged concern was removed from Cummins' class and schedule by Culleoka Unit School Administration.

5. Tues., Jan. 31, 2017: MCPS administration was notified by law enforcement that Cummins was the subject of a criminal investigation. MCPS turned over all known information and documentation to law enforcement about the recent allegations against Cummins at Culleoka Unit School, which were still under investigation by MCPS.

6. Fri., Feb. 3, 2017: Late Friday afternoon, MCPS received an allegation that Cummins had been in contact with the same student, despite explicit directives from his supervisor not to interact.

7. Mon., Feb. 6, 2017: At 8 a.m., Dr. Hargrove met with Cummins and suspended him from his duties at Culleoka Unit School.

8. Sun., March 5, 2017: Online investigation by TBI shows Cummins did online research on the topic of teen marriage.

9. Fri., March 10, 2017: Cummins did online research about his Nissan Rogue in an en effort to determine if certain features could be tracked by law enforcement.

10. Cummins' final termination from MCPS was prompted by his allegedly fleeing the area on March 13, reported to MCPS by law enforcement. A termination document was finalized by MCPS on March 14.

An Amber Alert was issued for Thomas on March 14.

Thomas and Cummins were last seen in Columbia, Tennessee.

Cummins is believed to be armed with two handguns. He may be driving a silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tag 976ZPT.

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