OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - After weeks of searching with no sightings, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says there has finally been a confirmed sighting of 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas and 50-year-old Tad Cummins in Oklahoma City.
Investigators say they were captured on surveillance video on March 15th at a Walmart in Oklahoma City on East I-240 Service Road, which was two days after the pair disappeared.
Investigators say the video shows that Cummins has altered his appearance to darken his hair, and Elizabeth appears to have red hair. They used cash to purchase several food items but nothing else of significance, investigators say.
The TBI says the teen disappeared March 13 after being kidnapped by Cummins, a former teacher at her school in Tennessee. "Some have characterized this as a romance," said the Director of the TBI, Mark Gwyn. "Let me be very clear: She is 15. A child. He is 50. A grown man. This is and was not a romance. This was manipulation," he said. This is not a fairytale. This is a case of kidnapping and we remain gravely concerned for the well-being of this young girl," said Gwyn.
Authorities have asked law enforcement in Mexico and Central America to be on the lookout for them as a precaution only. The Tennessee agency got a tip last week that the teacher's car may have been spotted in Corpus Christi, Texas, but police there were not able to confirm it.
Other than this spotting in Oklahoma City, there have been no other confirmed sightings of the pair since that day.
Anyone who spots the car is being asked to try and safely snap a picture and call 911 immediately. "It only takes one lead," investigators said.
Thomas is described as a 15-year-old white female with hazel eyes, 5 feet tall, around 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings.
Cummins is described as 6 feet tall, about 200 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
Investigators believe he is armed with two handguns and driving a silver Nissan Rogue with the Tennessee tag: 976-ZPT.
Cummins faces charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping and there is a reward for information leading to his capture.