SECTION, Ala. -- After nine days with hundreds of tips but no sign of 15 - year - old Elizabeth Thomas or the man accused of taking her, law enforcement officials ask the public to stay vigilant. If you live on rural property or own land you don't visit every day, investigators encourage you to check it out for anything suspicious.
Investigators believe the low number of tips could mean Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas are out of the view of the public
In Jackson County, Alabama, Bill Summers drove a vehicle through his property Wednesday morning. "I have 38 and a half acres," he said.
He and his wife live on the land in Section, in rural Jackson County. "We cleaned all that out," Summers says, pointing. The expansive land is thick with trees and bushes.
It's this type of area that Tennessee investigators asked property owners to keep an eye on. "This morning when I went in the barn to go feed the animals, I just made sure that I checked the barn to make sure everything was okay," Summers said.
He has other buildings on his property too that he plans to keep an eye on.
As investigators pointed out, the missing teen can be anywhere.
"Grant is very rural," said Grant Police Chief Mike Burgess, "We've got a lot of rural area around us."
The Town of Grant is in Marshall County. It borders neighboring Jackson, and like it, Marshall County has a lot of rural areas. Chief Burgess mirrors Tennessee investigators' requests for property owners to get out and take a look around.
"Now that we have an AMBER Alert out where we have a missing child, they need to be a little bit more vigilant in checking that property to make sure that there's nothing out-of-place," Burgess said.
That's something Summers plans to continue to do, and encourages other property owners to do the same.
Any information you may have, no matter how small, could lead to a big break in the search and help bring Elizabeth Thomas home. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-TBI-FIND. If you spot Cummins or Thomas, call 911.
New details continue to emerge about Tad Cummins' efforts to groom and lure his former student. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says before the two disappeared, the 50-year-old teacher searched "teen marriage" online. Cummins also searched whether police could track his car.
Cummins is wanted in Tennessee on charges of kidnapping and having sexual contact with Thomas. AMBER Alerts issued in Alabama and Tennessee have resulted in more than 650 tips submitted to the TBI, but no credible leads have been established.