In a classic example of Stockholm Syndrome, a 15-year-old girl has proclaimed her love for her 50-year-old kidnapper. But this abductee was no stranger. He was her Tennessee high school teacher. After being freed from the twisted teacher’s clutches, the 15-year-old girl, Elizabeth Thomas, was entered into a rehab program. And she doesn’t want to go home to her loving family. She wants to stay with Tad Cummins, 50, her kidnapper.
“Elizabeth says she’s in love with [Tad Cummins] and that the pair of them haven’t done anything wrong,” according to one source. “She thinks she is a fully grown woman who can date who she likes. … As far as she’s concerned it was all one big, fun road trip. She says she had the time of her life which is obviously pretty tough for the family to hear.”
When Tad Cummins abducted Elizabeth on March 13, a nationwide Amber Alert was initiated. She was taken from her home in Columbia, Tennessee and transported across state lines to a remote cabin in northern California.
Police tracked the “lovebirds” down to their hideout and arrested Cummins without any problems. Freed from her twisted kidnapper and teacher, Elizabeth was flown back home to Tennessee. But she was upset.
She proclaimed her love for Tad Cummins and said that she is old enough to love him.
Elizabeth’s home life was never easy. Her mother, Kimberly Thomas, has a trial date for abusing Elizabeth and some of her other nine siblings. Kimberly has been accused of beating Elizabeth, locking her up in the basement, and tossing her down a flight of stairs.
Her father, Anthony Thomas, blames Kimberly. He says that because Elizabeth was abused, she became an easy victim for a devious predator of children like Tad Cummins.
Elizabeth’s friends tell a different story. They say that Elizabeth doesn’t want to live with her father. He just interferes with her love for Cummins.
As a Daily Mail source summarized: “It’s a very complex family situation right now. All they can do is stand by her and give her as much help as she needs to come to terms with what really happened. At the end of the day we are dealing with a very messed-up kid here. Cummins really did a number on her. She was not harmed physically but the mental scars will take years to heal.”
No matter what the 15-year-old girl says and thinks, Cummins has been charged with numerous charges in both Tennessee and California. He also faces federal charges for transporting a kidnapped minor across state lines with the intent of criminal sexual activity.
Cummins was no innocent lover. Before kidnapping Elizabeth, he visited websites about teenage marriages and searched for tiny mattresses that would fit inside his Nissan Rouge. When he skipped town with his teen lover, he emptied his checking account and took his two guns.
He left his wife for the 15-year-old student.
According to The Tennessean, “It’s in Colorado that Cummins decided on pseudonyms and new identities for the pair. They become a married couple, 40-year-old John and 24-year-old Joanne Castro. Cummins told investigators he chose a Spanish-sounding name because he planned to go to Mexico.”
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