Thomas family releases statement; wants to 'focus on recovery'

Saturday, 29 Apr, 2017

However, the statement also said that the teen suffered from "severe emotional trauma" and is now getting treated by mental health experts.

She is allegedly charged with abusing five of her 10 children, including Elizabeth Thomas, based on the The Tennessean.

The girl's father has said the 50-year-old teacher brainwashed his daughter.

"The family owes each group, law enforcement, the media, and the public, a debt of gratitude that can not be repaid", S. Jason Whatley, an attorney representing the girl's relatives, told Fox 17, adding that they would "step back" from the spotlight. "He needs to be held accountable for kidnapping this girl", Gwyn said. The remote, mountainous area has limited cellphone service and the terrain is hard to traverse.

Authorities had earlier said the arrest happened at a commune but later clarified that it occurred in a very remote area and that they were still collecting evidence. Culleoka is about 60 miles south of Nashville near the Alabama state line.

Barry told ABC News Good Morning America he initially believed Cummins and Thomas needed food, gas and a place to stay because the two said they lost everything.

Thomas also said they haven't spoken about her experiences while she was gone, saying, "We haven't gotten to that yet".

Aaron Hernandez's Prison Is On Lockdown
Hernandez, serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd, hanged himself last week in a MA prison cell, authorities said. Hernandez's service was held at the O'Brien Funeral Home from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Associated Press is not naming the girl or her family members because she is an alleged victim of a sex crime. Authorities said Cummins searched online about teen marriage, and that he and Elizabeth had exchanged romantic messages using the draft folder of his email.

The pair left emails for one another on his classroom computer and were seen by other students at the school where he taught kissing in front of his grandson. Police launched an investigation into the relationship after school officials reported the incident. He and his wife would take that girl to church.

Bozeman said they don't know when Elizabeth will be released to go home, that they are taking it day by day. "So it's a long, long road ahead of us", she said. Cummins was suspended from the school in February after he violated an order to avoid contact with Elizabeth.

Authorities credit the caretaker of the remote Northern California property for helping police find the girl.

Authorities learned that they had taken motel rooms in Oklahoma City on March 15 and 16 and in Guymon, Oklahoma, on March 16 and 17, according to the affidavit.

Tad Cummins in Walmart before a 15-year-old disappeared.

The father also filed for divorce Monday after 30 years of marriage. She has been indicted on charges she abused their children, according to court records.