TBI: Collierville sighting was not Tad Cummins, Elizabeth Thomas

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COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A reported sighting of Tad Cummins in a Memphis suburb was deemed not credible, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The former Maury County teacher remains the subject of an ongoing AMBER Alert for 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas.

Someone called authorities around 12:30 p.m. Thursday saying they believed they saw Cummins at a gas station in Collierville on New Byhalia Road near West Poplar Avenue. The spokesperson for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office told News 2 a deputy checked the surveillance and confirmed it was Cummins.

The TBI now says it has been determined that person was, in fact, not the AMBER Alert suspect.PHOTOS: AMBER Alert for Elizabeth Thomas

Around mid-afternoon Thursday, a second sighting was reported at the Krystal’s on Union Avenue in Memphis. A BOLO, or be-on-the-lookout, was issued for area law enforcement that stated Cummins and Thomas were witnessed walking through the parking lot.

The possible sighting at Krystal’s has not been confirmed nor denied at the time of this report.

However, the Memphis-area BOLO also said a white van that had been sitting in the parking lot for several days was believed to belong to Cummins. However, hours later, the Memphis Police Department cleared the van, saying they found the owner and determining it didn’t belong to the former teacher.

The Thomas family released a statement just after 4 p.m. Thursday. It reads, in full:

In light of this new potential sighting, our family is letting law enforcement do their job in following up on this lead so they can bring Elizabeth home with no interference or complication. There has not been a credible lead to this point, and it has been a long two-and-a-half weeks of waiting and wondering. We desperately pray that this sighting is in fact Elizabeth and that law enforcement can safely remove her from this dangerous situation. Please join us in praying for Elizabeth’s safe return. Our family will make a statement when Elizabeth is home with us, but until then, we ask for privacy as we communicate and work with law enforcement. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.

People across the state and entire country are asked to remain vigilant and report any information or possible sightings to the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. You can also call the Maury County Sheriff’s Office at 931-388-5151.

Cummins, 50, is charged with kidnapping Thomas on March 13. He remains on the TBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list.

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. That vehicle has not been found. Anyone who spots the SUV and can verify the license plate should call 911.Click here for more on the AMBER Alert for Elizabeth Thomas.

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