Brother urges public to keep sharing missing Elizabeth Thomas' photo

After the school had confronted Thomas about the alleged kiss, she denied it, stating that she just had a close relationship with the teacher after explaining she went to church with Cummins and his wife every Sunday.

Attorney Jason Whatley said school officials knew a day later but allowed Cummins to keep teaching until February 6 while they investigated, the paper reported.

"The TBI has received approximately 250 tips from 24 states", it said in the statement.

The report concluded the allegation the two had kissed could not be confirmed but recommended Elizabeth be taken out of Cummins' class and that she should be told to bring anxiety issues to counselors and administration in the future, it said. He stands charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual misconduct with a minor.

"Suffice it to say, we are trying to still develop a comprehensive understanding of who he is, what his interests are, and what his capability might have been", DeVine said.

But the Thomas family attorney said Elizabeth's father was never alerted by the school and that he found out about the alleged incident on January 31, more than a week after the event purportedly happened, when sheriff's deputies called to ask the father questions, according to a letter from the family's attorney to the school district's superintendent.

At a press conference on Friday, Cummins' wife issued an emotional plea to her husband to hand himself in.

The TBI was able to determine Cummins secured a title loan for a personal vehicle leading up to his disappearance and got $4,500 in cash.

The nationwide search for Thomas and Cummins has now entered its seventh day.

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Both Thomas and Cummins disappeared March 13 from Columbia, Tenn. By 12:41 p.m., she was missing.

These are recent surveillance images of Cummins.

DeVine has said authorities believe Thomas is in imminent danger.

About 100 people gathered at Riverwalk Park for a candlelight vigil Saturday night in honor of Elizabeth Thomas, who is at the center of a statewide Amber Alert.

Since Thomas's abduction, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued two Amber Alerts.

Investigators believe Cummins brainwashed Elizabeth into abandoning her family to be with him. He has no criminal history in Tennessee, according to authorities.

The family is furious that Mr Cummins was not suspended after a middle school student reported the alleged kiss in January. "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". Anyone who sees the vehicle is asked to call 911 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.

The teen was wearing an oversized flannel shirt, black leggings and sneakers. She is 5 feet 5 inches inches tall and weighs 120 lbs., with blonde hair and hazel eyes. The former health science teacher at Culleoka Unit School, is carrying two handguns and is driving a silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee plates 976ZPT.

  • Michelle Webb