Tad Cummins, the former Tennessee high school teacher, and Elizabeth Thomas, his teenage student, have been found in a commune in Cecilville, near the Oregon border. Cummins was arrested immediately in northern California. Thomas, who had been kidnapped, was found safe, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Cummins has been Thomas' high school teacher at Culleoka Unit School in Maury County, Tennessee. They had been missing since March 13. An Amber Alert has been issued, but the pair managed to stay out of sight from the public until they were spotted on Thursday in a remote area that happens to be more than 2,000 miles from their home in Culleoka, Tennessee.

When the man was arrested, he allegedly said he was glad it was over.

The arrest and recovery

The 50-year-old former teacher and his 15-year-old student stayed in the headlines until they were found. There will be more news as authorities will do a thorough investigation. The kidnapper is being held in a California jail without bond. He awaits extradition to Tennessee where he will face charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping. Elizabeth was taken to a local hospital to be checked out before she is returned to her family in Tennessee.

Officials processed more than 1,500 leads that came in from all over the entire country during the five weeks Cummins and Thomas were missing.

The nation breathed a sigh of relief when the breaking news came out that the pair had been found, and Elizabeth Thomas was safe.

An attorney for Elizabeth's family indicated that there is not a word in the English language to describe the relief members of the family experienced that this phase of the kidnapping is over. However, there will be another phase that involves Elizabeth's recovery after such a traumatic ordeal.

Cummins' family

Cummins has a wife, children, and grandchildren. His estranged wife, Jill Cummins, was very emotional when she heard the news. She and her daughters had recently spoken on television advising Tad to return. She has already filed for divorce because she feels Tad had betrayed her, and she can't understand why he put so many people through such a terrible ordeal.

Tad Cummins had been on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s 10 Most Wanted list. It was also reported that he had been grooming Elizabeth for a while before they went missing. It is unlikely that he will ever teach in a school again.