The day Tad Cummins vanished with Elizabeth Thomas, he wrote a letter to his wife claiming he was traveling from Tennessee to Washington D.C. “to clear his head” — and urging her not to call police.

The day after his arrest in Northern California, new details are emerging about Cummins, 50, and how he evaded law enforcement during a nationwide manhunt that lasted more than five weeks after allegedly kidnapping Thomas, his 15-year-old student.

A criminal complaint filed by federal authorities and obtained by PEOPLE alleges Cummins borrowed $4,500 in cash from an unspecified source just days before going on the lam, telling his wife they needed the money to get them through his work suspension.

Cummins was fired from his job at Culleoka Unit School after he was named as the suspect in Thomas’ disappearance. Prior to that, he was suspended without pay after being accused of kissing Thomas inside his classroom earlier this year.

Cummins’ wife called police the day after he fled the area, and informed them the $4,500 he’d been loaned was missing along with a pair of handguns, clothing and toiletries, the criminal complaint alleges.

“During the course of the investigation, detectives learned from Cummins’ wife that Cummins was prescribed Cialis,” a medication used to treat male impotence, reads the criminal complaint. Police soon learned “he had obtained a refill of approximately seven pills days prior to leaving town.”

On March 29, investigators received a tip from an employee of Super 8 Motels, who had performed a search of the chain’s database and discovered Cummins had stayed at a Super 8 location in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on March 15 and March 16.

Cummins had provided the hotel with his Tennessee address as well as his phone number, which authorities confirmed was registered in his name.

Detectives learned from hotel employees that …read more


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