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Tennessee kidnapping suspect makes first appearance in court

"It is believed based on the investigation to date ... that Cummins, age 50, and VICTIM, age 15, are involved in sexual relationship and traveled in interstate commerce to continue their relationship and to engage in unlawful sexual activity", according to the affidavit.

Meanwhile, Thomas' family lawyer says the teen was "evaluated and treated" by mental health experts before her return home to Columbia, Tennessee.

The family's attorney added, "The family prays and hopes that she can get beyond that and have a very successful life, but he has made that very hard", Jason Whatley said.

"I'm not allowed to ask her about things that happened along the way right now", he said. He was arrested with her on April 20 in a mountainous, remote area of Siskiyou County, in California, some 68 miles southwest of Yreka.

Cummins was arrested Thursday and the teen was recovered in Northern California after a nationwide search. That charge carries a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, but Cummins could be sentenced to as much as life as prison, according to the US attorney's office.

The sister of Tad Cummins, the former Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old student, says he must face up to his "horrible" actions - but she still loves him. "Obviously, we are really trying not to press her, because it's really traumatic for her to remember all of these things", Bozeman said. There was not availability to food all the time, is the understanding.

"She was abducted and she's grateful to be home", she said.

But her sister is "very happy" and pleased to eat food, drink coffee and shower.

Prosecutors requested that Cummins remain in custody and be returned to authorities in Tennessee.

Cummins also faces state charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor.

The trail went cold until Cummins and Elizabeth were discovered last Thursday in Cecilville, in remote northern California near the OR state line.

During their 39 days on the run, the pair was caught on surveillance video at an Oklahoma Walmart and police say they stayed at cheap motels with one bed.

One of Elizabeth's schoolmates reported seeing her and Cummins kiss in his classroom on January 23, according to a school district investigative report, but both denied the claim.



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