Man who lent cabin to kidnapper says he called authorities
CECILVILLE, Calif. - The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office got the tip last night at 9:00 p.m.when a Cecilville man told them that he saw a car matching that of Tad Cummins' in the area.
When deputies arrived to the described area, they saw the silver Nissan Rogue, and found the kidnapper and his teenage victim, Elizabeth Thomas, in a remote cabin. The next morning law enforcement arrested Cummins and rescued Thomas.
Griffin Barry, the caretaker of the property that Cummins was staying in was also the man who tipped off authorities. He said that after seeing a picture online he recognized them instantly.
"I was like, that's the guy! So we ended up calling the police and what not," said Barry.
According to Barry, Cummins and Thomas showed up about a week ago. Cummins told Barry that Elizabeth Thomas was his wife.
"He said he had a house fire and he got fired from his job, and he had his last 10 dollars," explained Barry. "So I gave him 40 bucks and put gas in his tank."
Cummins also told Barry that he was 44-years-old and that Thomas, who called herself Joanna, was 22. Barry noted that Cummins tried to head for Black Bear Ranch Commune which is located nearby, but apparently it didn't work out and Cummins came back for the cabin.
"He came back and I was like, I can help you out, you know, I got a little bit of work. So we were trying to move rocks up here and all that," noted Barry.
He had no idea law enforcement was looking for the duo. Barry just wanted to help them out.
"In my head I'm thinking he had a house fire and lost everything," he said. "I came out here on a prayer and people helped me out and got me on my feet and hopefully I can pass it on."
Barry gave him some work to do.
"It's weird. I worked with him all day," Barry noted.
Barry explained he did not have much contact with Thomas but did not think anything was wrong.
"She spoke very few words and he would try and like, talk for her a lot," he said. "He was like clearly keeping her separate."
But after considering a few red flags, like the plate-less silver Nissan Rogue and seeing a picture of Cummins online, Barry called the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office. On Thursday morning, Barry even helped law enforcement with their plan to catch Cummins.
"I was driving by trying to flush him out. [Sheriff's deputies] were like, 'honk the horn!'" Cummins came out and was arrested. "I'm glad I got to help," concluded Barry.
Barry said he does not like that Cecilville attracted Cummins, but is thankful he was able to help save Thomas.
Cummins is scheduled to be arraigned at the Siskiyou County Courthouse Friday morning.