Police across the country are currently searching for Elizabeth Thomas (above, insert) and her former teacher Tad Cummins (above) — who authorities believe kidnapped the Tennessee teen earlier this month.
As the hunt continues for the 50-year-old man and the 15-year-old girl, investigators have found new evidence shedding light on their relationship — emails that show the pair’s “romantic interest in each other.”
According to local reports, Thomas and Cummins corresponded via email without sending any messages to one another — instead, they would both save messages in the drafts folder of the educator’s school email account.
Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper explained to WAAY:
“They would write the message and let it save as a draft. The other person would log in, read the message and then delete it and then write another message that was saved as a draft.”
Cooper added that some of the messages the pair wrote to each other were inappropriate, but declined to elaborate on what exactly was said. He explained:
“If you read them you would immediately recognize you are reading messages between two people who have a romantic interest in each other.”
The Sheriff’s Department’s Marcus Alright gave slightly more detail when describing the emails, noting the teacher would tell the student how nice certain body parts of hers looked. He added:
“‘I saw you standing next to you backpack this morning’ and [Cummins] makes a reference to a body part of hers and how nice that looked.”
Authorities have been searching for the pair ever since Elizabeth’s parents reported her missing on March 13. As of last week, officials confirmed Cummins may have been spotted in Texas.
NEW PICTURE: Here’s Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas at school in January, days before his alleged inappropriate contact with her. pic.twitter.com/BzyIz8KPpY
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ TBI (@TBInvestigation) March 21, 2017
A warrant was issued for Cummins’ arrest after a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation suggested he “may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom this vulnerable young girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her.”
So disgusting. We hope authorities are able to track down this pair before it’s too late.
[Image via Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.]