Police report possible sighting of Tennessee teacher, missing student in Nebraska

The community of Columbia has not lost hope of 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas return home after being missing for more than three weeks

The confirmed sighting is the first credible tip investigators have received since Tad Cummins was accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Thomas in Tennessee more than two weeks ago.

The two have been missing since March 13, with Amber Alerts still active in Alabama and Tennessee. Surveillance footage shows that both have altered their appearance; Cummins has darkened his hair while Elizabeth is seen with red hair. The school district in Maury County terminated Cummins in the wake of an ongoing investigation into alleged inappropriate contact he had with Thomas at the school earlier this year.

Tad Cummins and missing Tennessee teen Elizabeth Thomas may have been spotted at a McDonald's in Kearney, Nebraska, police said in a Facebook post.

Jill Cummins says in court papers that she married her husband in July 1985 and that she has not spoken to him since the day he and Elizabeth disappeared. Anyone with information on Thomas or Cummins should call the Maury County Sheriff's Office at 931-375-8654 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

The TBI released information on a confirmed sighting of Cummins and the teen in Oklahoma City on March 15. "Use caution as the suspect has possession of two handguns". The signs of abuse were seemingly corroborated just a few days before Thomas' disappearance, when a fellow student reported allegedly seeing Cummins kiss Thomas at the school.

Of those tips, more than 300 still are being probed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today, said public information officer Susan Niland. Cummins not only researched teenage marriage before abducting Thomas, but he also researched if police could track his silver Nissan Rogue.

"Thomas is a 15-year-old white female, with hazel eyes, stands 5'0" and weighs 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing leggings and a flannel shirt.

Cummins is described as 6 feet tall and about 200 pounds. They also said that the teacher "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom Elizabeth ... in an effort to potentially exploit her".

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