A candlelight vigil has been held for a missing 15-year-old girl who police say was snatched by her former high school teacher.
The bureau has been searching for the blond-haired student and 50-year-old Maury County Schools health teacher Tad Cummins since March 13.
As WKRN reported, Cummins was already facing charges after he was sacked from Culleoka Unit School for allegedly having sexual interactions with Thomas.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also said in a news release that Cummins "potentially planned this abduction prior to Monday". She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings, authorities said. "Cummins is a white male, who stands 6'0", weighs approximately 200 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes.
Thomas' brother, James, said his family has repeatedly tried reaching out to her via text message, phone, and Facebook. "In fact, it only heightens it".
Yet according to attorney Jason Whatley and school records, teacher Tad Cummins was allowed to continue working at Tennessee's Culleoka Unit School for two weeks.
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Tad Cummins handed over the title of his SUV, put up some other personal effects and walked out of the loan office with $4,500 in cash. The latter claim stems from an alleged sexual interaction between him and Thomas in January on school property. Surveillance footage caught Cummins filling up his silver Nissan Rogue nearby around the same time.
Cryptic messages appeared on both Thomas and Cummins' Instagram accounts the day they disappeared.
Her former teacher, Tad Cummins, 50, is allegedly shown on surveillance footage from a gas station near the restaurant at about 8:30 a.m. filling up his silver Nissan Rogue, the vehicle in which authorities believe he is traveling in with the teenager.
The teacher's wife, Jill Cummins, made an emotional plea to her husband at a news conference Friday, urging him to turn himself in. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest. "I want to see you again", one of Thomas' sisters cried on the microphone.
With tears in her eyes and standing beside her pastor, Cummins spoke directly to her husband via the TV cameras: "We can help you get through this".