Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas: Former Teacher Was Going to Take Teen to Mexico by Kayaking

Former high school teacher Tad Cummins, accused of kidnapping teen student Elizabeth Thomas, was going to take the 15-year-old to Mexico by kayaking, the authorities learned.

(Photo: Reuters/SCSO Handout)Tad Cummins, 50, a former Tennessee high school teacher accused of abducting a 15-year-old student in March, seen in this booking photo after his arrest by Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department's Special Response Team (SRT) in Cecilville area of Siskiyou County, California, U.S.A. on April 20, 2017.

Cummins and Thomas were found in Northern California 39 days after going missing. Their disappearance launched a wide search involving authorities across the country.

FBI agent Utley Noble told CNN that to avoid discovery, Cummins changed license plates and removed the car's GPS and then threw their phones into the Tennessee River.

According to Noble, Cummins also purchased a tablet to keep tabs on the news about their disappearance and bought a two-person kayak worth $1,500.

He and Thomas were going to use it to paddle all the way to Mexico from Coronado Island in San Diego, which was their next destination if they weren't found.

There, they planned to pose as a married couple using John and Joanne Castro as aliases. Cummins also told authorities he and the teen engaged in sexual contact "most nights."

Cummins has been charged with taking a minor across state lines for sexual activity and is yet to enter a plea although he pleaded not guilty to state charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping filed against him.

He will remain behind bars until trial despite his request to be released from custody, which was denied by Magistrate Barbara Holmes.

His sister Daffney Quinn was also one who was hoping Cummins could go home before trial, promising they will supervise him constantly.

"I can't explain what he's done. Something has happened psychologically and mentally to cause what he's done," Quinn said.

"I strongly believe that something is wrong with him, because the brother and man I know would never do something like this," she went on to say, although she admitted his brother does not express regret for what he's done.