Police say 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas disappeared together with 50-year-old Tad Cummins, and Thomas is in "imminent danger".
School district officials suspended Cummins - who has since been placed on the TBI's Top 10 Most Wanted list - when the allegations surfaced and formally terminated his employment on Tuesday. The TBI has issued a second Amber Alert for the girl and investigators believe Cummins may have abducted the girl to "potentially sexually exploit her". She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings, authorities said.
Cummins is white, 6ft with brown hair and eyes. He was caught kissing Thomas at school on January 23, the attorney for the Elizabeth's father, Anthony Thomas, told The Columbia Daily Herald. "In fact, it only heightens it".
Cooper charged Tad Cummins this week for a sexual interaction between him and a student, Elizabeth Thomas, at his school.
Cummins, 50, was sacked from his job last week at Central Tennesee High School after he was accused of making inappropriate contact with Thomas, who's a freshman.
Thomas and Cummins' relationship, the TBI told WSMV, started at school. Investigators have no idea where Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins are located.
Almost two months before a high school student and her former teacher went missing, they were alleged to have been seen kissing by another student in the teacher's classroom.
Cummins was seen March 13 in a surveillance video at a Shell station near Shoney's in Columbia, where Thomas was last seen a short time later.
They are believed to be in a silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tags 976 ZPT.
Thomas is believed to have been kidnapped by Cummins, a former teacher at her school in Maury County, according to the TBI.
"Thomas is 5'5" and 120 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes. "But the reality is we remain hopeful, because all it takes is one person who knows what to be looking for and what to do when [they] see it".
The video was captured at Walmart in Columbia, Tennessee days before the AMBER Alert was issued.
Last week, Cummins's wifeJill went on TV and pleaded for her husband to turn himself in.
"Please do the right thing", she added. "This is not who you are".
Anyone with information on Cummins or Thomas should call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
"I think that every day that goes by, we get more concern for [Thomas'] well-being", DeVine says.
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