Elizabeth Thomas turned 16 yesterday. The teenager made headlines after going missing, traveling cross-country with her former teacher, Tad Cummins, and finally being found in a remote cabin. Her family shares that she celebrated her milestone birthday with family.
Her brother, James Thomas, told People that Elizabeth was planning a quiet celebration at an undisclosed location. “I’m happy we get to see her, that she is with us for her birthday,” James says. “We’re very excited that we were able to get her back in time for her birthday.”
He says that his sister is currently undergoing counseling.
Some teens get a car for their sweet sixteen but James isn't so sure Elizabeth will. “Sixteen is usually when kids jump up and decide they’re adults. They want to drive and she has expressed she wants her drivers license but I don’t think she’s getting it right now,” he says.“That’s a discussion between her and her father.”
Following a 38-day search, Elizabeth and Cummins were found. The 51-year-old Cummins faces federal and state kidnapping and sex crime charges in both Tennessee—where he fled with Elizabeth—and in California where the couple was finally located. Just days ago, it was reported that the pair wanted to paddle to Mexico on a kayak.
Cummins maintains his innocence.
[Photo: Tennesee Bureau of Investigation]