The Elizabeth Thomas story is getting even weirder and even more tragic.
The father of the 15-year-old teen wants a divorce from his wife. She has been indicted on charges she abused their children, according to court records. The two have been married for 30 years.
According to The Tennessean, 49-year-old Anthony Edward Thomas filed for divorce Monday from 48-year-old Kimberly Ann Thomas. He cited irreconcilable differences and inappropriate marital conduct. According to the filing, the couple have 10 children. Four of the children are underage, including Elizabeth Thomas.
She went missing on March 13 after her teacher Tad Cummins allegedly kidnapped her. The two were missing for 38 days before they were captured last week in Cecilville, California in a remote cabin. According to federal court documents, 50-year-old Cummins has admitted to switching vehicle license plates twice, disabling his vehicle's GPS system, altering his appearance and using alias names, and paying for items in cash only.
Anthony Thomas’ divorce lawyer, Cory Ricci, said a Maury County judge granted a restraining order this week that prevents Kimberly Thomas from speaking publicly about the case. According to the report, she cannot speak about her daughter’s disappearance, even through a third party.
“We are afraid of Ms. Thomas giving interviews or speaking,” Ricci said. “If it airs, Elizabeth will be terrified. She’s very, very scared of her mother.
According to court reports Kimberly Thomas has had legal issues with her children in the past. She was indicted on four counts of misdemeanor child abuse and neglect and one felony count of abuse for a child under the age of 8 in January 2016, court records show. She is allegedly charged with abusing five of her 10 children, including Elizabeth Thomas, based on the The Tennessean.
The mother’s criminal trial is set for review on May 12. A trial date has not yet been set.
Ricci said the couple have been separated since November 2015 when his client found out about the alleged abuse. That same year, a juvenile court ordered Kimberly Thomas to have no contact with the children, according to the report.
[Tennessee Bureau of Investigation]