Man who discovered missing student speaks out

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. – Right now, investigators are gathering more information about the Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student.

NBC5 News spoke to the person who is the caretaker for the remote property in Cecilville where Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas were discovered.

Griffin Berry said he’s the person who encountered the pair and called the police.

He says he met the two around Tuesday evening. “Said they were from Colorado… and a house fire… lost everything.”

Location where Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins were discovered.

Berry describes Cummins’ behavior as controlling and suspicious, saying, “He talked for her a lot.”

He also said Thomas didn’t seem right either. “She was kind of shy and timid, or something, he said she was 24 and he said he was 38.”

That’s why Berry decided to do some research.

He said, “Then we figured it out. Someone showed me a picture, and I was like, ‘That’s the guy.’”

He initially thought he was doing a good deed when he helped the pair, then he learned who they really were.

Either way, he’s glad he was the one who found them.

He said, “I was just trying to help them out, and it ended up turning out different, but it worked.”

Tad Cummins is now in the Siskiyou County Jail.

NBC5 News Reporter and Weather Forecaster Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.

She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.

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