YREKA, Calif. - Wednesday night the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) received a tip that a vehicle matching the description of a Tennessee kidnapping suspect was seen in the Cecileville area of Siskiyou County.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tad Cummins, 50, is accused of kidnapping 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas on March 13. Neither Elizabeth nor Cummins had been in touch with their families while they were on the run, authorities said.
According to reports, a man and a teenage girl were staying in a cabin off of Eddy Gulch Road in Cecileville. Cecilville is a small rural community located in a mountainous area of the county about 68 miles southwest of the county seat, Yreka.
Deputies responded to the area and verified that the vehicle, a 2015 Nissan Rogue matched the description broadcasted nationwide via an Amber Alert. The original broadcast indicated the kidnap suspect; Cummins, was possibly armed with two firearms, which prompted a tactical response by the Department’s Special Response Team (SRT).
The SCSO SRT responded to the area and established a perimeter around the cabin believed to be occupied by Mr. Cummins and Elizabeth before deciding to wait until morning to arrest the suspect when he exited the cabin. Officials say that a citizen who befriended the suspect and victim assisted SRT members at the scene.
Thursday morning, shortly after 9:30 a.m., Cummins left the cabin and was arrested without incident. Elizabeth was with Cummins at the time and was detained at the scene for her protection.
Two loaded handguns were recovered in the cabin, along with various personal belongings for Cummins and Elizabeth.
Officials said that the victim appeared to be in good health and Cummins was cooperative with law enforcement authorities at the scene. Cummins was taken to the Siskiyou County Jail in Yreka and booked on a Maury County, TN fugitive arrest warrant for aggravated kidnapping. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) investigators are currently heading to Siskiyou County to continue their on-going investigation.
Elizabeth will undergo a forensic interview and as a crime victim, receive the care that she needs at this time. Cummins will be arraigned on Friday, April 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.
“I would like to commend the citizens that played a role in bringing Mr. Cummins’ activities to our attention, which led to a response by members of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. I am proud of the men and women of this Department that played a role in this potentially dangerous surveillance and arrest, especially the Special Response Team responsible for the safe and successful resolution of this 6-week ordeal," said Sheriff Jon Lopey.
Anyone with any information about the activities of Mr. Cummins or his victim is asked to contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.