'Romantic' Emails Between Missing Teacher, Girl Found

Family says teen once hid from teacher Tad Cummins
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2017 5:00 AM CDT
This photo released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows Tad Cummins in Tennessee.   (Tennessee Bureau of Investigations via AP)
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(Newser) – Elizabeth Thomas, the 15-year-old girl believed to have been abducted by teacher Tad Cummins two weeks ago, once hid from Cummins when he turned up at her workplace, her family says. One of the Thomas family's lawyers tells News 2 that, according to Elizabeth's father, she hid in the bathroom when the 50-year-old teacher visited the business and begged co-workers to tell him that she wasn't there. Investigators say they've uncovered emails that make it clear there was some kind of romantic connection between the pair, who posted cryptic messages on Instagram before they disappeared March 13, reports WHAS 11.

Maury County DA Brent Cooper says that instead of sending emails to each other, Cummins and Elizabeth would both use Cummins' school email account and leave messages to each other saved in the draft folder. "If you read them you would immediately recognize you are reading messages between two people who have a romantic interest in each other," Cooper says. NBC News reports that on Sunday, Thomas' family released a video of the girl in the hopes someone would recognize the girl's voice, and Cummins' wife, Jill, again urged him to turn himself in. "You know you can't hide forever," she said. "For your sake and for Beth's sake, please go to the police or please just drop Beth off somewhere safe." (Read more abduction stories.)

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