Missing Tenn. teen spotted with teacher in Oklahoma

Officials investigate the abandoned van in the parking lot of Krystal's in Midtown

Officials investigate the abandoned van in the parking lot of Krystal's in Midtown

"I feel at least hopeful that I've seen her".

Elizabeth Thomas, the 15-year-old Tennessee girl who disappeared with her teacher Tad Cummins almost three weeks ago, has been spotted at a store in Oklahoma City. The photos show that Cummins appears to have dyed his hair darker, and Thomas' hair appears to have been dyed red.

Officials said Cummins used cash to purchase various food items, but did not purchase anything else of significance. He was sacked following an investigation into allegations of inappropriate contact with the girl.

Cummins is believed to be armed and driving a silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tag 976-ZPT.

Investigators said they were working to determine the vehicle the man and teen were traveling in. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it remains "extremely concerned" about the well-being of Thomas, a high school student who was last seen Monday, March, 13, 2017, in Columbia, Tenn.

These images were released on Friday. Law enforcement authorities in Tennessee listed Cummins in the state's "Top 10 Most Wanted" and issued a warrant against him for abducting and having sexual contact with 15-year-old Elizabeth.

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The images, although confirmed just today, were captured on March 15, two days after Thomas first went missing.

"It's possible that's where they are", said Cooper, who explained that Cummins is "familiar with missionary work..." The district attorney in Maury County stated, "If you see them and they look happy, that doesn't matter".

Prior to their disappearance, Cummins was sacked from his job as a teacher at Elizabeth's school after allegations were brought forward, accusing him of inappropriate contact. A school report from January reads that neither one "admitted to behaving inappropriately towards the other".

Mark Gwyn, the director of the TBI, said this week, "This is not a fairy tale".

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