A teacher, also the student he abducts kidnapped at a Walmart in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, two days after they vanish, officials said Friday.
After getting a tip late Thursday, inspectors obtained surveillance images showing 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas and 50-year-old Tad Cummins at the store the afternoon of March 15, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.
The Walmart observation images showed Cummins "with an altered appearance to darken his hair.
"The same images show Elizabeth may presently have red hair," the TBI added.
Cummins used cash to buy food at the Walmart but he didn't buy "anything else of meaning," the TBI said. "Efforts to control what vehicle they were traveling remaining ongoing."
It's the first attested sighting of the pair from Cummins was accused of kidnapping Elizabeth on March 13.
Cummins, who was dismissed one day after the think kidnapping, is wanted on allegations of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. An Amber Alert has been released for Elizabeth.
A barrister for the Thomas family, Jason Whatley, told: "she looks obedient to him, walking behind him, looking to him."
It's a very scary image, he said. And frankly, it's just the kind of image that we were expecting; it's just very shocking to eventually see it.
This new glimpse is tearing Elizabeth's father apart, Whatley said. It's just really more than he can take.
a senior manager at Walmart Corporate Communications said We know of this situation and will continue helping law enforcement with their examination.
The TBI said it has got more than 1,200 tips.
One of Elizabeth's schoolmates announced seeing her and Cummins kiss in his classroom on Jan. 23, according to a school district investigative report, but both denied the claim. A school report from January reads that neither one confessed to behaving unsuitable towards the other.
Cummins, a married father, and grandfather, researched teen marriage online, specifically the age of consent, according to law enforcement officials.
A lawyer for Cummins' wife, Jill Cummins, said that she has filed for dissolution after 31 years of marriage.
"Jill will attempt to move forward with her life, attorney Michael Cox said in a statement. Jill continues to pray for the safe return of Elizabeth Thomas and for a calm resolution to this ordeal."
"She may not realize she's in danger. She may not realize she's been taken against her will," Brent Cooper, the district attorney for Maury County, If you see them and they look happy, that doesn't matter. This is a serious crime.
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