Siskiyou Sheriff's Office describes rescue and arrest in Cecilville

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
An arrest photo distributed by the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department of kidnapping suspect Tad Cummins of Tennessee, who was apprehended Thursday morning April 20, 2017 in Cecilville and was scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning.

A tip received by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday night at about 9 p.m. that a vehicle matching the description of Tennessee kidnap suspect Tad Cummins, 50, was observed in the Cecilville area led to the rescue of Elizabeth Thomas, a high school student, and the arrest of Cummins the following morning.

The Sheriff’s Office said the victim “appeared to be in good health” and was transferred to FBI agents, while Cummins was scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning at 10 a.m., and he also faces local charges for kidnapping and possession of stolen property. These and other charges were pending review by Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus.

Following is the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office press release about the situation:

According to reports, a male adult and a young female were staying in a cabin off of Eddy Gulch Road in Cecilville. Cecilville is a small rural community located in a mountainous area of the county about 68 miles southwest of the county seat, Yreka.

Deputies responded to the scene and verified that the vehicle, a 2015 silver Nissan Rogue, matched the description broadcast nationwide via an Amber Alert dated March 13, 2017. The original broadcast indicated the kidnap suspect, Mr. Cummings, was possibly armed with two firearms, which prompted a tactical response by the Department’s Special Response Team.

The SRT responded to the scene, established a perimeter around the cabin believed to be occupied by Cummins and his juvenile female victim and elected to wait until morning to arrest the suspect when he exited the cabin.

A citizen who befriended the suspect and victim assisted SRT members at the scene.

On Thursday, April 20, 2017, shortly after 9:30 a.m., Cummins exited the cabin and was taken into custody by SRT members without incident.

The female victim exited the cabin and was walking behind Cummins. She was detained at the scene for her protection and to facilitate further investigation and victim services.

Two loaded handguns were recovered in the cabin along with various personal items belonging to both Cummins and his female victim.

The victim appeared to be in good health and Cummins was cooperative with law enforcement authorities at the scene.

Cummins was transported to the Siskiyou County Jail in Yreka and booked on a Maury County, TN, fugitive arrest warrant for aggravated kidnapping.

Contact has been initiated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigators. Memphis FBI and TBI investigators are en route to Siskiyou County to continue their on-going investigation.

The kidnapping victim has been transferred to FBI Agents assigned to the Redding, CA office. She will undergo a forensic interview and as a crime victim, receive the care that she needs at this time.

Cummins will be arraigned on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. He also faces local charges for kidnapping and possession of stolen property. These and other charges are pending review by Siskiyou County District Attorney, Kirk Andrus.

According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “I would like to commend the citizens that played a role in bringing Mr. Cummins’ activities to our attention, which led to a response by members of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. I am proud of the men and women of this Department that played a role in this potentially dangerous surveillance and arrest, especially the Special Response Team responsible for the safe and successful resolution of this six-week ordeal. The SRT worked in freezing weather conditions but resolved this mission without anyone getting hurt, which is a good day for our Department, the female victim, and her family.”

He continued, “Like any major crime perpetrated against a young teenager, this case is a difficult one and will plague the victim, her family, friends, and the law enforcement officers and agents involved in the case for years to come. On behalf of the siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to offer our thoughts and prayers to the victim, her family, friends, and all involved law enforcement officers and other members of the justice system as this investigation continues to achieve justice for all concerned.”

Anyone with any information about the activities of Mr. Cummins or his victim is urged to contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530)-841-2900.