Ted Cummins, the 50-year-old former teacher from Tennessee, has been caught by police after a 5-week manhunt that spanned the entire country. Cummins allegedly kidnapped Elizabeth Thomas, a 15-year-old student who he is suspected of abusing. Police were shocked when they also found the girl, and you won’t believe where Cummins was hiding her.
According to Daily Mail, Cummins was arrested late in the evening of April 19 in a remote part of Siskiyou County, California, not far from the Oregon Border. Cummins and his victim were found by police at a commune in the northern part of the state, nearly 2,500 miles from home.
According to Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department, Cummin’s Nissan Rogue was found on Wednesday, April 19, near the Oregon border. When Cummins was apprehended, police say they found Thomas unharmed.
ABC News reports that authorities from Siskiyou County found the suspect and his 15-year-old victim at a commune in Cecilville, California. Cummins reportedly surrendered without incident.
“Our intelligence analysts and agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this AMBER Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states,” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director Mark Gwyn said in a statement. “What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end. We are extremely thankful the hard work of all partners in this search has paid off. We’re also grateful for the public’s support and vigilance throughout this search effort.”
Cummins was wanted by police for allegations of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. He disappeared with Thomas on March 13, after being fired from his teaching job. Cummins was seen by another student who reportedly turned him in for kissing Thomas during class.
According to recently filed court documents, the 15-year-old’s disappearance was a result of her fear of Cummins and the repercussions she might face at school if she resisted him. Cummins, who has a wife, children, and grandchildren, is also now facing divorce after his spouse recently filed, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
In an interview with Daily Mail, Elizabeth’s mother said, “All I want to do now is hug and kiss her. It’s only been a little over a month but to us it has felt like forever. As for Mr. Cummins, I don’t even want to think about him right now. All I can think about is my daughter and the fact she is safe.”
I have a few words for Mr. Cummins. This piece of trash pedophile belongs locked up for the rest of his miserable life. I don’t believe men like him can ever be safe for society after what he did. The horrific experience of this innocent girl will change her life in ways that she can never reverse. I truly hope that when this monster is extradited back to Tennessee that they deal with him harshly.