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‘My everything’

Family of teacher accused of kidnapping 15-year-old student begs him to come home

April 14, 2017

On March 13, former Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins, a married father and grandfather, disappeared with 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas. In the wake of the disappearance, an Amber Alert has been issued for Thomas and Cummins has been charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. With the pair still missing a month after the alleged kidnapping, the women in Cummins’ life, his anguished wife and daughters, spoke to ABC News and begged him to come home.

“No matter where you are, Daddy, no matter what you’ve done we just want you to come home,” said Cummins’ daughter, Erica Osborne, 29.

“I’ve already forgiven him, no matter what he did, I’m always going to be there,” she added. “You don’t give up on your family. Everything can be turned around, always, and be better in the end. There’s always a plan. There’s always a way to fix it.”

Cummins’ wife, Jill Cummins, said that she had filed for divorce in the wake of the kidnapping but that he had been “my everything … my best friend for 31 years.”

“We had everything we ever wanted, two beautiful kids, beautiful grandkids, and I really truly believed that he loved me,” said Jill. “The Tad that I know is not the Tad that the world is seeing now. He is a wonderful person.”

Jill said that she had initially trusted her husband’s denials after it was first alleged that a student had seen him kissing Elizabeth — a girl that Jill and Tad had often given rides to and from church.

“I had no reason not to believe him,” she said. “I called her our third daughter sometimes.”

Despite her reluctance to speak to media, Jill said she knew she “had to be strong and do it for him and for Beth.”

“I wanted him found and I wanted him to either change his mind and come home, or I knew that would give more media exposure for more people to hear the story and see their faces and see them somewhere.”

Watch the interview with Cummins’ family below.

Read the full story at ABC News.


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