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U.S. Attorney: Tad Cummins intended to cross into Mexico from San Diego via watercraft

More details emerging after former teacher Tad Cummins arrested in kidnapping of student, Elizabeth Thomas. (SBG/Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office photos)

The U.S. Attorney's office has filed a request to detain Tad Cummins pending his trial since he cannot overcome the presumption he is a flight risk.

Documents filed with the Eastern District of California court say due to the former teacher's intention of taking kidnapping victim Elizabeth Thomas to Mexico, Cummins is a flight risk and danger to the community.

The request asks that Cummins be transported and remain in custody pending trial in the Middle District of Tennessee.

The documents highlight the former teacher's plot and actions while on the run from police. The documents state Cummins started plotting his escape with Cummins from the moment he was suspected of having an inappropriate relationship with the 15-year-old. He is accused of lying to school officials when asked about a 30 minute visit with Thomas at his office and lying to his wife about a loan he took out before fleeing.

Cummins allegedly told his wife he was heading to Virginia Beach or Washington, D.C., showing her a fake note. The documents say Cummins fled in his wife's Nissan Rogue, traveling through nine states, sometimes in disguise and using stolen plates.

Cummins admitted to disabling the vehicle's GPS system, discarded all cellular phones, and monitoring news outlets while on the run. The documents say Cummins also admitted to seek passage into Mexico, procuring a small watercraft and conducting a test run. His intention was to cross into Mexico through San Diego by water.

The filing calls Cummins' alleged crime "heinous," adding the criminal complaint details "a person who abused a sacred position of public trust as a school teacher so that he could pursue an improper sexual relationship with a juvenile victim."

Cummins was captured in a remote area of Siskiyou County, California on Thursday at a cabin located near a commune. Officers also located Thomas, who was found unharmed. The former teacher was on the run with Thomas for 38 days before he was captured. In addition to charges in Tennessee, Cummins is facing a federal charge of transporting a minor across state lines for the purposes of having criminal sexual intercourse. He's also facing charges in Siskiyou County of kidnapping and possession of stolen property. Cummins will be in a Sacramento to face that charge on Monday. He will then be transported to Tennessee to face local charges.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office says they are investigating if they will file possession of stolen property charges. A spokesman says Cummins was found with license plates from other states when he was arrested.


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