Rescued teen, Elizabeth Thomas, back home in Tennessee

Elizabeth Thomas seen in surveillance and with various hair colors (Courtesy: TBI and Jason Whatley, family attorney)

COLUMBIA, TN (WKRN/AP) – The lawyer for the family of a 15-year-old girl who was allegedly kidnapped by her teacher says the teen is back home in Tennessee and being evaluated and treated by mental health experts.

Attorney Jason Whatley said in a press release that the girl is in a safe location with family and friends.

Police say teacher Tad Cummins kidnapped the girl from Columbia, Tennessee, on March 13. Cummins was arrested Thursday after a tip led police to a remote cabin in Cecilville, California.

“She is being evaluated and treated by mental health experts specializing in trauma,” Whatley said in a statement. “There is no doubt that she has suffered severe emotional trauma and that her process of recovery is only just beginning.”

He thanked people across the country for their thoughts and prayers and asked that the family have privacy.

The Thomas family is asking for privacy as “this journey begins.”

Whatley said he met Elizabeth for the first time Friday, saying, “I was taken aback by who she is. Elizabeth is a little child. She could easily pass for 12… she is a little girl in every sense of the word.”

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