Thomas was found in Siskiyou County, CA, with her former teacher, 50-year-old Tad Cummins, on Thursday morning. Thomas was recovered safely in a remote area of Northern California, following a massive nationwide manhunt for the pair.
The Maury County Public Schools Facebook post comes in the wake of complaints from the girl's family that the school system did not respond properly after a student at the Culleoka Unit School reported seeing teacher Tad Cummins kissing the 15-year-old student.
A representative of the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office says federal authorities took Cummins into custody just before 9:00 local time.
Thomas was also found safe and unharmed, authorities said.
Cummins is in custody facing federal charges for transporting a minor over state lines for the goal of sex.
After the capture, one federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines for the objective of having criminal sexual intercourse was filed against Cummins. "They are thankful that Elizabeth Thomas will soon be returned to her family where she can begin the healing process".
March 15 - Cummins and Thomas seen on surveillance video at Walmart at 100 East I-240 Service Road in Oklahoma City at approximately 4:30 p.m.
Cummins' wife told authorities on March 14 that her husband wanted to get the loan "to meet their financial needs during his suspension from work without pay".
"I'm glad that I got to help do it", Barry said.
Prior to his capture, Tennessee authorities issued a warrant for Cummins' arrest on charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor - the latter charge stemming from the alleged January kissing incident.
During police interrogations, Cummins admitted that he had driven to Siskiyou County to "seek refuge" in the rural cabin.
"There aren't words in the English language to describe the level of relief and elation experienced by the Thomas family", said Whatley.
Thomas family attorney Jason Whatley told News 2 the family will be in seclusion upon Thomas' return to Tennessee. "The two obviously have a relationship. her response to us and to law enforcement escalated up and down".
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations initially said the two had been found on a commune, but later said they were discovered in a cabin.
Elizabeth Thomas' father says the road to recovery for his daughter may be hard, but he is just glad she is coming home.
Cummins will be held in California until he is extradited to the state of Tennessee. He also allowed Cummins and Thomas to stay at an unfinished cabin on the property he managed, NBC News affiliates KOBI and WBIR reported.
Cummins was sacked about a month after being suspended - a day after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert about the teen.
The 49-year-old woman who was married to her husband for 31 years is seeking alimony and attorney fees, according to the four-page suit.
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