Surveillance footage assuming a Tennessee aerial academy apprentice at a Walmart in Oklahoma with the above abecedary who allegedly kidnapped her has accustomed achievement to the teen’s addled family.
“It was acceptable to be able to see her face,” Elizabeth Thomas’ father, Anthony, told ABC News on Friday. “I feel at atomic hopeful that I’ve apparent her.”
After accepting a tip backward Thursday, board acquired images from surveillance cameras at a Walmart in Oklahoma City assuming 15-year-old Elizabeth and 50-year-old Tad Cummins on the afternoon of March 15, two canicule afterwards she was was allegedly kidnappped by her above aerial academy teacher, according to the Tennessee Agency of Investigation.
The surveillance images actualization Cummins “with an adapted actualization to becloud his hair” and announce that “Elizabeth may currently accept red hair,” the analytic agency said Friday.
The brace entered the abundance calm and Cummins acclimated banknote to buy food. He didn’t buy “anything abroad of significance,” the Tennessee Agency of Investigation said.
The abundance in Oklahoma City is added than 650 afar from area Cummins and Thomas both lived in Tennessee.
“Efforts to actuate what agent they were traveling in abide ongoing,” the Tennessee Agency of Investigation said Friday.
An advocate for the Thomas family, Jason Whatley, told ABC News that in the angel of Elizabeth walking abaft her above teacher, “She looks abject to him, walking abaft him, attractive to him.”
“It’s a actual alarming image,” the advocate said Friday. “And frankly, it’s absolutely the affectionate of angel that we were expecting; it’s aloof actual abominable to assuredly see it.”
The surveillance video is the aboriginal accepted analysis of the brace aback March 13, aback Cummins allegedly kidnapped Elizabeth. A day afterwards they disappeared, he was accursed from his teaching job at Culleoka Unit School, area Elizabeth had been a apprentice in his forensics class.
An Amber Alert has been issued for Elizabeth, and Cummins is capital on allegations of aggravated kidnapping and animal acquaintance with a minor. The above abecedary has been added to Tennessee’s ten best capital list.
“This is the aboriginal affidavit absolute we’ve got that Tad did abduct her and they were traveling together,” Elizabeth’s ancestor told ABC News on Friday.
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Cummins, a affiliated ancestor and grandfather, researched boyhood alliance online, accurately the age of consent, aloof eight canicule afore he allegedly took Elizabeth. And aloof three canicule afore the declared kidnapping, Cummins did an online chase about his car “to actuate if assertive appearance could be tracked by law enforcement,” according to the Tennessee Agency of Investigation.
“He was absolutely putting a lot of planning into disappearing,” Brent Cooper, the commune advocate for Maury County, Tennessee, told ABC News beforehand this week. “He searched what admeasurement mattress will fit in the aback of a Nissan Rogue.”
Cooper on March 28 asked associates of the accessible to allotment the Amber Alert for Elizabeth with accompany and ancestors associates in Mexico and Central America, abacus that Mexican law administration had been notified and “it’s accessible that’s area they are.” Cooper said Cummins “planned this in such a way that he had a 24-hour arch alpha … calmly abundant time for him to accomplish it to Mexico.”
Investigators accept apparent email abstract letters amid Elizabeth and Cummins, which authorities said actualization a adventurous accord amid them. According to authorities, afterwards one of them would address a message, he or she would save the bulletin as a draft, and the added being would log on, apprehend the bulletin and annul it.
One of Elizabeth’s schoolmates appear seeing her and Cummins kiss in his classroom on Jan. 23, according to a academy commune analytic report, but both denied the claim. A academy address from January reads that neither one “admitted to behaving afield appear the other.”
Tennessee Agency of Investigation administrator Mark Gwyn said beforehand this week, “This is not a bogie tale. This is a case of kidnapping.”
A advocate for Cummins’ wife, Jill Cummins, said she has filed for annulment afterwards 31 years of marriage.
“Jill will attack to move advanced with her life,” advocate Michael Cox said in a account provided to ABC News on Friday. “Jill continues to adjure for the safe acknowledgment of Elizabeth Thomas and for a peaceful resolution to this ordeal.”
Before her disappearance, Elizabeth was apparent about 7:30 or 8 a.m. bounded time on March 13 at a Shoney’s restaurant in Columbia, Tennessee, area she was alone off by a friend, according to the Tennessee Agency of Investigation. She never alternate home that night.
Surveillance footage from a gas base abreast the restaurant appears to actualization Cummins at about 8:30 a.m. bushing up his argent Nissan Rogue, the car in which board accept he may still be traveling in with the teenager.
Later that aforementioned afternoon, a cellphone ping placed the brace in Decatur, Alabama, according to the Tennessee Agency of Investigation. Their aisle went algid until now.
In an affecting account with ABC News on Friday, Elizabeth’s ancestor pleaded to her babe to appear home.
“Elizabeth, if you can apprehend me, amuse appear aback to us,” he said.
Authorities are allurement that anyone with advice alarm 1-800-TBI-FIND and that anyone who sees a car with Tennessee authorization bowl cardinal 976-ZPT alarm 911.
ABC News’ Elisabeth Bognar, Michael Edison Hayden, Dee Morales, Eva Pilgrim, Emily Shapiro and Nery Ynclan contributed to this report.