Google “girl runs off with…” and watch what word pops up next. Girl runs off with boyfriend? Five thousand dollars? Backpack full of stolen merchandise? Think again.
“Girl runs off with teacher,” is the top suggestion, for the pure reason that the incident mentioned below is most definitely not a unique one.
It is alleged that 50-year-old Tad Cummins, health sciences teacher at Culleoka High School in Culleoka, Tennessee where he’d been working for nearly 6 years, abducted 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas, evading authorities for more than a month as they traveled through the country, eventually being apprehended in northern California. Cummins is insistent that this is his first and only offense, which is supposed to endear us to his plight, but should only make us more suspicious of every other seemingly model citizen working in the school system. He says Thomas was in an abusive home, and he was apparently rescuing her. Never mind that he kissed her in school, prior to the abduction. Never mind that he had been married for 31 years (his wife wisely filed for divorce sometime during the abduction – he has two children, girls, it turns out). Never mind that whatever the reason (maybe Thomas asked him to take her with him, maybe she followed him, maybe she threatened him), she was FIFTEEN.
We should be grateful at least, that this particular child predator was an idiot. Cummins attempted to kayak with Thomas from San Diego to Mexico, when he realized the waters were too rough and they were being watched by a law enforcement officer. They elected to remain in California. If they’d made it, who knows if they ever would have been found.
Cummins is being held in federal custody on a charge of transportation of a minor across state lines for sexual intercourse. The charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. In Tennessee, Cummins is being charged with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor having sexual contact with a minor.