Elizabeth Thomas’ sister speaks out

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN/CNN Newsource) – The 15-year-old Tennessee teen allegedly abducted by her adult teacher is safe and sound and working to get back to a normal life.

Now, Elizabeth Thomas’ sister is speaking out about her long road to recovery.

Kat Bozeman told WKRN her sister is in a mental health facility being treated. So she spends a lot of time with a therapist while visitation with family and friends is limited.

“It had been 40 days until anyone had seen her,” Bozeman said.

After more than a month, on Friday Bozeman was reunited with her Thomas.

“What do you say in these circumstances? You want to ask so many things but then you know that’s not what she needs,” Bozeman told WKRN. “You’re speechless. You see them and you don’t know what to say because she’s been through something very traumatic.”

Bozeman said it’s been an emotional few days, but her tears of sadness have turned joyful. “It’s a rollercoaster – some days are good, you see her more, some days are bad – you see her less so it’s a long, long road ahead of us.”

She said they haven’t discussed much about what happened over the more than a month that Elizabeth was missing with her former teacher, Tad Cummins. “She told us she didn’t have access to telephone, internet, any electronic devices. There was not availability to food all the time is the understanding. Obviously we are really trying not to press her because it’s really traumatic for her to remember these things.”

Elizabeth and Cummins were found at a remote cabin in northern California near the Oregon border where he was captured Thursday.

Bozeman said, “She was abducted and she’s grateful to be home. She is very happy. She’s just so happy to get food and coffee and showering.”

Bozeman said the family has a hard time hearing the details of where Elizabeth and Tad stayed over the time and what evidence has been recovered. “It’s traumatic for us, it’s traumatic for her. It’s just hard to hear and knowing you know they had no access to showers and bathrooms and they were eating very little. That’s really traumatic.”

She said the family is focusing on the positive, as they all need time to heal. “There is a long road ahead.  Mental health is not like a broken bone that is healed in 8 weeks.”

Bozeman said they don’t know when Elizabeth will be released to go home, that they are taking it day by day.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content