Missing Tennessee student: School chief appeals for girl's safe return

Another student at the school reported seeing the pair kissing on the lips on January 23 but Cummins was allowed to continue teaching

Another student at the school reported seeing the pair kissing on the lips on January 23 but Cummins was allowed to continue teaching

In the most recent effort to locate Elizabeth Thomas, the 15-year-old Tennessee high school student who went missing on March 13th, new video has been released to Wayne County Now which reveals Thomas' voice for the first time to the general public.

The messages were "not a conversation expected for a teacher to be having with a 15-year-old student", Cooper says.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed that Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas are hiding somewhere between Tennessee and Alabama.

Thomas was last seen on March 13 after being dropped off at the Shoney's in Columbia.

The D.A. says the emails don't contain anything "really graphic or explicit, but definitely inappropriate". Cooper says one person would save the email as a draft on Cummins' school account. But it was not clear where they were accessed, if at school or elsewhere.

'If you read them you would immediately recognize you are reading messages between two people who have a romantic interest in each other'.

Cummins recently faced a reprimand from school administration after a student report was filed on February 6 claiming that the two were caught kissing. He was sacked after he was identified as the suspect in Thomas' abduction.

Cummins is wanted on a warrant for sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping.

Prosecutors in Maury County, south of Nashville, said that they would write messages to each other in draft emails without actually sending them, also using encrypted messaging apps.

Thomas' Instagram account is public, but her messages are password protected making obtaining them hard for law enforcement.

According to the Culleoka Unit School, the task force's mandate is to identify any incidents between the students and faculty members and to inform the parents.

Past year was Elizabeth's first in the public school system, after being home-schooled until eighth grade.

'She would go and tell people to tell him she wasn't there and she would go and hide until he left, ' explained Sarah Thomas. Elizabeth said she looked to Cummins as a counselor.

As for the school board, since it was only an "innocent" peck on the lips, the only disciplinary measure taken against Cummins was ordering him to cease all contact with Elizabeth Thomas.

In the video, Elizabeth can be seen patiently instructing an older brother on how to sew a Confederate flag.

Elizabeth, who is one of ten children, made frequent posts on social media about romance and love in the weeks before she was abducted by Cummins.

"Please share this video in hopes that someone recognizes her voice", said a statement included with the video, which was provided by Elizabeth's family.

Police have described Thomas as five feet, five inches tall, 120 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes.

Authorities have been looking for a silver Nissan Rogue with the Tennessee plate 976ZPT.

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