Pharmacists across the country have been urged to be on the lookout for a 50-year-old former teacher charged with kidnapping a 15-year-old student, because the man’s blood pressure medication is running out, authorities said.
Tad Cummins allegedly abducted Elizabeth Thomas on March 13 in Tennessee. The last public sighting of the pair was two days later inside an Oklahoma City Walmart, where surveillance cameras captured images of the two shopping.
Despite a national hunt, authorities have not been able to locate the fired instructor and the high school student.
He is due for a refill of prescription pills that regulate his high blood pressure, according to Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper.
Cummins, a married father and grandfather, left a note for his wife, Jill, the morning he vanished, Cooper said. The prosecutor declined to reveal the letter’s contents, but called it a diversionary tactic designed to buy time.
Jill Cummins has filed for divorce since her husband and the girl went missing.
He has been charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. He is believed to be armed, authorities said.
The teen also needs medication for severe allergies and left behind her EpiPens and antihistamine pills, her family has said.
Cummins had been suspended in February from his teaching duties after the pair was discovered in his classroom. The school district had ordered him to have no one-on-one contact with the girl after a classmate reported the two had been seen kissing on school property in January.
Both denied having any inappropriate contact with the other.
One day after their disappearance, he was fired by school authorities.
Cummins "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom [the student]... in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her,” an official with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.