Authorities: Teen-teacher relationship not a 'romance'

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"As a self-proclaimed man of faith, you have the power to answer the prayer of your family, the community and so many people across the country to bring Elizabeth home", Gwyn added.

The superintendent's appeal comes as new details emerged about the 50-year-old suspect who had allegedly convinced Elizabeth he had a swanky, stealthy past as a Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who was flush with cash.

Cummins is believed by authorities to to be armed with two handguns and driving a Nissan Rogue with Tennessee plates.

He faces kidnapping in the AMBER Alert case and is also charged with sexual contact with a minor after he allegedly kissed Thomas at school earlier this year. TBI agents said Cummins groomed Thomas for abduction. There was no school that day, and police say a friend dropped her off at a Columbia restaurant.

(CNN) - The search for teenager Elizabeth Thomas and the high school teacher police believe kidnapped her two weeks ago has generated more than 1,000 leads, majority fruitless, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Monday. She thought it was really weird.

Investigators say they've uncovered emails that make it clear there was some kind of romantic connection between the pair, who posted cryptic messages on Instagram before they disappeared March 13, reports WHAS 11.

Thomas had been homeschooled up until this year when she attended the Culleoka Unit School, where Cummins has worked since 2011.

"She is under his spell, and she is being controlled by him, and that is what is so scary", Whatley said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has received hundreds of tips, but as still not been able to locate the pair.

As it stands, to prove the kidnapping of a victim who is 14 or older, Cooper said, he'd have to prove that Elizabeth was falsely imprisoned, unlawfully removed or had her freedom restricted. They may be in the Decatur, Alabama, area. Parrish said he told her, "Don't ever let anyone tell you that you're not attractive".

He also reiterated that they will not stop until they find Elizabeth and bring her home - asking everyone to remain on the lookout for both Elizabeth and Cummins.

In a message to Cummins at a press conference last week, TBI spokesman Josh DeVine urged him to "do the right thing".

The teen's disappearance came after a chain of events that began January 23 when a student allegedly saw Cummins giving Elizabeth "a peck on the lips" in a classroom, according to an internal school investigation report provided to CNN by Jason Whatley, an attorney for the girl's father.

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