Missing student Elizabeth Thomas found, teacher arrested in California

Authorities from Siskiyou County, California, found the 15-year-old student and former Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins.
7:31 | 04/21/17

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Transcript for Missing student Elizabeth Thomas found, teacher arrested in California
A dramatic culmination to a months long manhunt for that Tennessee teacher who allegedly abducted his teenage student. The pair found today after evading authorities for over a month tonight new deet tails on the disturbing steps police say he took to prepare for the trip. And how authorities mobilized citizens across the nation to help track them down. Here's ABC's Ken what works. We are beyond the latest words really can't express. The big. Finley nightmare finally over their daughter or sister is on the way home a wonderful family that has been through so much. They're fifteen year old daughter Elizabeth Thomas who rescued this morning after being allegedly kidnapped nearly six weeks ago by her fifty year old teacher tad come in we know she's. Been through a lot of drama. More solid than just about a child should ever. Have even imagine. Police acting on a tip they received late last night. Around 11 o'clock central last night. From an individual in California who indicated he may have encountered tagged commons and Elizabeth Thomas the subjects of an ongoing AMBER Alert. Authorities closing in on an extremely remote area in northern California. The color. Indicated they have taken up residence and it happened. In a remote area in Cecil bill California within the last week and a half. Police found a silver Nissan SUV parked near one of these cabins. The same car commons was seen fueling the day the two disappeared. Authorities in ciskei county kept this car under surveillance for several hours. And as daylight broke this morning they were able to take tat Cummins into custody and safely recover Elizabeth. Without incident always knows that shoes apparently healthy and. The horrific ordeal finally over for the Thomas Stanley just says desperation it was turning into a lost hope. I left that meeting thinking there was literally nothing. Mom that these folks could do all that they had married and being done. They're only clue had been this surveillance video. Captured at a Wal-Mart in Oklahoma City just a few days after their disappearance the video revealing small changes to their appearance. Elizabeth hair dark and read it comes great facial hair now brown. The share buying food and paying cash. Take that has lived in obscurity for years without being found there. I mean think about it tech Cummins has already outsmarted everyone and gotten thousands of miles away from home. All the way up in northern California from Columbia Tennessee. The first signs of trouble happening months earlier school officials began investigating the health sciences teacher after another student. It's plain to see him kissing Elizabeth in his class trip. Cummins had denied any wrongdoing but was later suspended. Didn't see this coming at all he's in your kid's school these you know. He trusts are going to be all right there he is a predator and she does not have any will of her own as we understand that she is under his spell she's being controlled by him. Cummins daughters nationally and Erica at last saw their fathered the weekend before police say. He kidnapped fifteen year old Thomas he was at my house Saturday night before and can have very to CN implying. Ends communities and now I'm captain talked to him. So my mom not to act. The very next day his former student Elizabeth Thomas was seen being dropped off early in the morning of march 13. At a restaurant in Columbia Tennessee but before she left her sister says Elizabeth won't hurt with a warning she says. You know. Thanks candy from me coffee cups a short time later this security footage showing commons. Filling up his SUV at a nearby gas station. Police say just days earlier. He took out of 4500. Dollar cash loan sources also telling ABC news that comment from research camping in suvs and even. Watched a TV show about living off the grid. One of the keys. When you're on the run. Is stain out of sight. In my view he this was lucky they were able to stay on the run this long because he does strike me as fairly unsophisticated. As far as being an fugitive. Hours after that gas station surveillance footage from Monday Elizabeth Thomas is declared missing some time later another clue. A cell phone paint from Decatur Alabama over eighty miles away. That evening tabs wife Jill came home to find a note from her husband. According to a criminal complaint it said he was going to clearest head that he would return. And asked for his wife not to call police it also said that she noticed two handguns were missing from. I found out she was also missing and that's what I mean. That was the moment they nanny did it was. Com. Gillian sontag was mentoring fifteen year old Elizabeth. She had been spending time at their home prior to their disappearance the split happened to him let her problems. How tax. Thank you listening carrying her but police say that a few months before he allegedly kidnapped fifteen year old Thomas Buchanan was secretly surging age of consent and how to marry a teen online. I think she went back her own choice but I don't think she was allowed to make that choice. He forcefully cooker she. Manipulated by him. According to the criminal complaint police learned that Cummins had filled a prescription for C Alice a drug for erect tile dysfunction. Three days prior to leaving and while they were on the run he had also purchased women's razors chocolate and KY jelly. Elizabeth Thomas is not only the victim in this case. She is truly. The only real. Witness any jury's gonna want to hear from Elizabeth Thomas. Authorities say Thomas will be flown back to Tennessee tomorrow. Our main concern is how she emotionally and mentally if she needs help whatever whatever help we can offer. Aluminum sure that's provided forms. Elizabeth is likely in Christ that's when a girl really trusts somebody like a teacher. It can be a wonderful relationship but in this case it cross lines. Developmental psychologist Rahman's Silverman says. It's a long road ahead for young Elizabeth Thomas she's going to come back and be confused. She's going to be filled with a lot of emotions that she needs to work through. And this is not going to be an easy road. After a month on the FBI's most wanted list Cummins is sitting in assist you county jail awaiting tomorrow's arraignment. He's facing both state and federal charges including aggravated kidnapping and taking a minor across state lines for sex. She's fifteen years she's an she's a young. Girl that's with a grown man that's fifty years. He needs to be held accountable for kidnapping the score. The Thomas family thankful and relieved. Their daughter is safe and sound today thanks to a tip from a good samaritan. Scott understand we mobilize the nation. During this six weeks we mobilize a nation. And when you do there. Something good most likely is going to happen because you can't hide from that meaning millions of people that are looking for. For Nightline. I'm Tina whitworth in Cecil though California.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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