Elizabeth Thomas, the missing high school freshman on the run with her 50-year-old teacher, calls herself “wife” on Instagram, and posted a graphic from Beauty and the Beast around the time she vanished that says “every beauty needs her beast to protect her from everything but him.”
Update: Tad Cummins was arrested in northern California, and Elizabeth Thomas was “safely recovered” on April 20, according to ABC News.
Here’s a screenshot of the top of Elizabeth Thomas’ Instagram page:
She also posted graphics like this:
Both Elizabeth, 15, and teacher Tad Cummins filled their Instagram pages with love sayings in recent weeks.
Around the time they disappeared, Cummins wrote on Instagram, “Good morning all! This is going to be an amazing day! Let’s do this! #strong #unbreakable #love.”
Cummins is accused by Tennessee authorities of kidnapping Elizabeth after another student alleged he had kissed the teen in a classroom at Culleoka High School in Tennessee. The teacher and student have been on the run since March 13, and Tennessee authorities have launched a massive manhunt to find them, characterizing the relationship as criminal and abusive.
The high school has fired Cummins, who was suspended before the pair disappeared. She is the subject of an Amber Alert in Tennessee. Cummins, 50, allegedly researched teen marriage before vanishing with Thomas, 15.
Elizabeth filled her page with generic love notes about soulmates and protectors. Examples:
Three weeks ago, she wrote, “If the whole world were watching I’d still dance with you, drive highways and byways to be there with you .#myheartbelongstoone #tough #love #neverstop.”
And: “I want to be your steady hand when you are shaking, I want to lift you up when you fall and build you back up again. I am here for you and I love you, even when you are having anxiety, even in your darkest times I would never choose anyone else. You are so important to me, I will never leave you, you will always have my heart, it belongs to you. #loveforever #love #myheartbelongstoone.”
Friends have filled the page in turn with comments urging her to return. However, Thomas’ page is also filled with graphics that have a different and depressive tone – referring to herself as broken and ugly. One post says she wants to die and others refer to death and sadness. CNN reports that authorities accuse Cummins of grooming Thomas by playing on difficulties she was having at home.
Five weeks ago she wrote, “I’m losing myself and you don’t care. Why did I ever think someone would actually want me and not leave? It’s stupid I know. I’m building up my wall and locking the door this time. I still love you and nothing will make me stop.” She also wrote, “I’m done, with everything. I’ve never welcomed death into my life but the doors are open now. Take me away into the pits of no feeling and blackness. I’ve never been this broken.”
She also wrote, “I am self destructive. I don’t need help ruining my life, I am perfectly capable of doing that by myself.”
According to WSMV, Thomas was home schooled until her freshman year of high school. The television station quoted the local district attorney as saying her home life was a troubled one.
The television station reported that “police arrested Elizabeth’s mother, Kimberly Thomas, last year. She was charged with five counts of child abuse and neglect. According to court documents, Kimberly Thomas beat Elizabeth and four of her siblings.”
WSMV reported that Elizabeth told investigators her mother “banged her head into the agitator of the washing machine” and “threw her down the basement stairs and locked her down there.” Kimberly Thomas “is also accused of making the children get naked in front of several other people,” the television station reported, adding that “Elizabeth is one of 10 children in a single-parent home because her father now has full custody of all of them.”
For his own part, Cummins filled his Instagram page with similar love messages. His messages became more focused on love themes in recent weeks; before that, he posted about things like gluten-free food and holidays (with Elizabeth liking many of his posts). Here’s his profile:
Here’s an example of some of his recent posts:
He also posted photos of exotic locations.
He made it clear he was not a Hillary Clinton voter and supported Trump:
Cummins, a married father and grandfather, appears to have used social media platforms differently. On Facebook, he shared a profile with his wife, Jill, and posted photos of family, including with his wife. Example:
Jill Cummins has appeared on television to urge her husband to return Thomas.
On Twitter, Cummins posted about politics – such as watching a debate to see Donald Trump in it – religion and school activities. Examples:
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says that Cummins and Thomas could be anywhere and says the fact there have not been verified sightings could mean Cummins is keeping Thomas out of public view.
Read more about Elizabeth Thomas here:
Read more about Tad Cummins here:
See more photos of the pair here: