A Tennessee 15-year-old—allegedly abducted by a teacher with whom she was apparently having a relationship—appeared to update her Instagram bio to include the descriptor “wife.”
Elizabeth Thomas, 15, and Tad Cummings, 50, disappeared on Mar. 13., several months after a student reportedly saw the pair exchanging a quick kiss on the lips. The student told the school this, but Thomas and the married Cummings denied a relationship.
The age of consent in Tennessee is 18. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said that the teacher “may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom this vulnerable young girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her.”
Cummings allegedly researched teen marriage online eight days before he and Cummings disappeared, the TBI said.
Her sister, Sarah Thomas, told a local NBC station that the Instagram update was hurtful to her.
"I was hurt. I don't want her even calling herself a wife. She's too little. She's my little sister. She's 15," said Sarah.
"I can't handle her being gone. It's really hard," Sarah added.
TBI is calling on the public to help them with the search for the missing pair.
"The TBI would urge the public to remain vigilant and report any information that may prove beneficial in the ongoing search to 1-800-TBI-FIND," the bureau said in a statement. "If you spot the vehicle and can verify the license plate to be TN 976-ZPT, call 911 immediately."
[Image: TBI, Instagram]