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Investigators combing the country for a 50-year-old teacher who is believed to have run off with his 15-year-old former student say the pair had a “romantic interest in each other.”

Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas — who were once allegedly caught kissing in a classroom — haven’t been seen since March 13. But as officials continue their hunt for the pair, new evidence is emerging to show a “romantic” relationship developed between them prior to the disappearance.

Cummins and Thomas wrote emails to each other and saved them as drafts in a folder of Cummins’ school email account, Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper told WAAY on Friday.

“They would write the message and let it save as a draft,” Cooper said. “The other person would log in, read the message and then delete it and then write another message that was saved as a draft.”

He added: “If you read them you would immediately recognize you are reading messages between two people who have a romantic interest in each other.”

One of the email drafts shared with WAAY begins with Cummins telling Thomas that he “saw you standing next to you [sic] backpack this morning.”

“And [Cummins] makes a reference to a body part of hers and how nice that looked,” Maury County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Marcus Alright said.

On Tuesday, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tweeted a photo from January showing Cummins and Thomas gazing at each other “days before his alleged inappropriate contact with her.”



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