Wife, daughters of Tenn. teacher accused of kidnapping student break silence

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The wife and daughters of a Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping a student pleaded for him to come home in an exclusive interview with ABC News. (WLS)

The wife and daughters of a Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping a student pleaded for him to come home in an exclusive interview with ABC News.

"We had everything we ever wanted. I really, truly believed that he loved me," Jill Cummins told ABC's Eva Pilgrim.

"I feel so hurt I can't even function. It's very selfish of him to do this to us. I'm mad part of the time. Then this peace that comes from God... I do love him. But I don't trust him anymore. He's totally betrayed me," Cummins said.

Tad Cummins, 50, is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with his 15-year-old student, Elizabeth Thomas.

The pair have been missing for more than month. They were last spotted by a Walmart surveillance camera in Oklahoma City on March 15, two days after they disappeared from Columbia, Tenn., nearly 700 miles away.

"It's kind of like a death, because the Tad I knew is gone," Jill Cummins said.

She reported her husband of more than 30 years missing after finding a note at home.

"At that moment, I knew that it was all a lie," Cummins said.

She thought her husband was mentoring Thomas. She and her husband even took the teen to church.

Cummins: "She would come to him with her problems about her past."
Pilgrim: "I think it's a question that a lot of people have. They see that you knew her and say, 'How did she not know something was up?'"
Cummins: "I think a lot of people didn't know. He was friendly with everyone and a caring person."

Investigators said Tad Cummins planned his escape, searching "age of consent" and "how to marry a teen." With no credible sightings for weeks, authorities think the two are staying out of the public eye.

Pilgrim: "Did you ever hear him talking about being off the grid?"
Cummins: "Well, we used to watch TV shows together about that sort of thing."
Pilgrim: "Did he even have camping gear?"
Cummins: "Not really. A little bit. But he didn't take it with him."

The car Tad Cummins and Thomas were last seen in is a silver Nissan SUV - his wife's car.

"I think he left because he was so ashamed of what had happened. He couldn't face me, or anyone. He didn't want to face the consequences. So he thought that was his only choice, was just to leave," Jill Cummins said.

Tad Cummins didn't just leave behind his wife. He also left his two children. His daughter, Erica Osborne, said she saw her dad the night before he disappeared.

"He kissed me on the head and he looked in my eyes and then walked out my door, just like normal," Osrborne said.

His daughters, Osborne and Ashlee Conner, had a message for their dad.

"There's one thing that he's reminded us for our entire life. Romans 8:28. That's 'God uses all things for the glory of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purposes.' That means even this," Conner said.

"No matter where you are, Daddy, no matter what you've done, we just want you to come home. We miss you so much. We're here for you, no matter what anytime, anyplace, anywhere," Osborne said.

While his wife has now filed for divorce, she said she is hopeful he will come home.

Pilgrim: "Do you still love him?"
Cummins: "Of course I love him. I forgive him. I still love him. But that doesn't mean I could ever trust him again, because he betrayed my trust to a point that it's totally broken."

Pharmacies are on the lookout for Tad Cummins. Family members said he needs to refill blood pressure medication.

Related Topics:
u.s. & worldkidnappingamber alertteacherstudentsabc newsnationalTennessee