Investigators: Thomas, Cummins communicated through draft emails

Sydney Martin - There are multiple videos inside this story. Click here to view them from the News 2 app. 

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WAAY) - Investigators released new details about the communication between 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins before they disappeared.

WAAY-TV reports Maury County DA Brent Cooper revealed the two were writing emails but not sending them.

"They would write the message and let it save as a draft. The other person would log in, read the message, and then delete it and then write another message that was saved as a draft," explained Cooper.

PHOTOS: AMBER Alert for Elizabeth Thomas

According to investigators, Thomas and Cummins used the former teacher's school email to write inappropriate messages to each other. The district attorney told WAAY he couldn't go into details about what exactly was written.

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

However, the lead investigator on the case did share one of the messages with WAAY.

"'I saw you standing next to your backpack this morning,' and makes a reference to a body part of hers and how nice that looked," said Marcus Albright, an investigator in the case.

After Cummins and Thomas disappeared, Cummins was fired from the Maury County school district for having an inappropriate relationship with her.

Investigators said Cummins' search history on his electronic devices also revealed other ways the two might have been communicating.

"There were some research into Instagram and how secure Instagram is with communicating back and forth, and there were some questions about encryption texting apps," explained Alright.

The pair has been missing for nearly two weeks.

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

Cummins is a white male, who stands 6 feet tall, weighs approximately 200 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes. He's believed to be armed with two handguns and was last seen driving a Silver Nissan Rogue with TN license plate 976ZPT. Anyone who spots the SUV and can verify the license plate should call 911.

Cummins faces kidnapping in the AMBER Alert case and is also charged with sexual contact with a minor after he allegedly kissed Thomas at school earlier this year. Anyone with information on their whereabouts should call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

As of Saturday afternoon, the TBI had received 985 tips, with 116 still open and being pursued.

Click here for more on the AMBER Alert for Elizabeth Thomas.

More Stories

Meet the Team

Don't Miss

Latest News - Local

Video Center