(WAFF) - Shelby County Sheriff's Office deputies positively identified Tad Cummins, 50, in surveillance footage captured at a gas station in Collierville, TN, on Thursday afternoon.
The sighting was reported at the Shell gas station at 398 New Byhalia Road. They are believed to now be driving a white van with a ladder, which has reportedly been spotted by WMC5 crews at the Krystal on Union Avenue in Midtown Memphis.
Cummins is believed to have kidnapped 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas. She was reported missing on March 13.
Thomas is white, blonde hair, hazel eyes, 5 feet 5 inches tall and 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings.
Thomas is believed to be in the company of 50-year-old Tad Cummins, a white male, 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, brown hair and brown eyes. He is believed to be armed with two handguns and driving a Silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tag number 976ZPT.
Cummins' wife, Jill Cummins, pleaded for her husband to return Thomas during a press conference Friday.
"Tad this is not you. This is not who you are. We can help you get through this," she said. "Please do the right thing and bring Beth home."
Cummins has now been added to the TBI's most wanted list.
Also on Friday, the TBI released new photos of Cummins and the vehicle he's believed to be using.
TBI officials say after investigative efforts, they revealed a troubling pattern of behavior by Cummins, suggesting the 50-year-old may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom Thomas for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her.
On Wednesday, the District Attorney General Brent Cooper confirmed the details of the incident for which Cummins now faces a charge is connected to an alleged sexual interaction between Cummins and Thomas at the school where he taught and where she was a student. The school district suspended Cummins when the allegations surfaced and terminated his employment on Tuesday.
The TBI has been able to determine Cummins secured a title loan for a personal vehicle several days before his disappearance, netting $4,500 in cash. To that end, the TBI would like to hear from anyone who may have had an interaction with either individual prior to their disappearance.
Since issuing the AMBER Alert at approximately 6:00 CST Tuesday, the TBI has received approximately 120 leads.
If you have information on Thomas or Cummins, call the Maury County Sheriff Department at 931-375-8654 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
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