Tad Cummins in federal custody, will be arraigned Monday - WSMV News 4

Tad Cummins in federal custody, will be arraigned Monday

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Tad Cummins is being held without bond. (Source: Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office) Tad Cummins is being held without bond. (Source: Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office)
Tad Cummins was arrested in Northern California on Thursday. (WSMV) Tad Cummins was arrested in Northern California on Thursday. (WSMV)

The man accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old girl from Columbia, TN, is now in the custody of federal authorities.

Channel 4 has learned Tad Cummins is on his way to Sacramento, CA, which is where he will be arraigned on Monday.

Cummins was initially supposed to appear in court Friday morning in Yreka, CA.

Cummins is charged in Siskiyou County, CA, with kidnapping and possession of stolen property. He and his former student, Elizabeth Thomas, were found in a cabin in the area on Thursday morning.

Cummins is being held without bond. He is awaiting extradition to Tennessee, where he will be charged with sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping.

The 50-year-old is also facing the federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines for criminal sexual intercourse. The charge carries a minimum 10-year sentence.

According to investigators, Cummins refilled a prescription days before leaving Columbia, TN. His wife told investigators he had been prescribed Cialis, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction.

Cummins reportedly left a note for his wife saying he was heading toward Virginia, maybe even the D.C. area. He wrote that he just needed to clear his head and asked her not to call police. Investigators suspect this may have been his way of throwing people off.

The criminal complaint states that Cummins stopped in Oklahoma twice, booking hotel rooms in his own name and even listing his phone number. In both cases, the rooms only had one bed.

Surveillance footage captured the pair at a Walmart in Oklahoma. Investigators noted that Cummins bought women's razors, chocolate and a lubricant typically used for sexual intercourse.

Eventually, authorities caught up to Cummins and Thomas in Northern California. The cabin they were staying in is tucked away next to a river in a remote part of the county. Officials said the cabin had two cots but no power. They were there for about two days before they were caught.

Cummins’ next door neighbor described him as a nice person who seemed devoted to his family.

Randall Scott said he lived next to the Cummins for a little over a year and spoke to him about his job at the school and the church. He said he was shocked to learn Cummins was wanted for kidnapping.

“That was a total character than what I ever experienced,” Scott said. “Of course we all have to make decisions every day, and I think he made the wrong decision when he chose to leave the state of Tennessee with a 15-year-old girl.”

Cummins' wife and children released the following statement through their attorney:

Jill, Erica and Ashlee are glad this chapter of the ordeal is over. They are grateful to all law enforcement for their hard work.

Jill would like to specifically thank the Maury County Sheriff Department and individually thank Bucky Rowland and Nathan Johns for how they handled the investigation and search for Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas.

Jill, Erica and Ashlee also appreciate the local and national media for keeping this story in the spotlight. They are thankful that Elizabeth Thomas will soon be returned to her family, where she can begin the healing process.

Jill, Erica and Ashlee have the utmost respect for District Attorney Brent Cooper and acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith and they trust the judicial system to administer justice upon Tad Cummins.

Jill, Erica and Ashlee offer neither comment nor opinion about what should or should not happen to Tad Cummins and leave that up to the capable individuals involved in the judicial system.

Stay with Channel 4 and WSMV.com for updates on this story.

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