The family of Mary Catherine Elizabeth Thomas has released a new video of the teen in their latest effort to find her

By Char Adams
March 27, 2017 10:59 AM
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The family of missing Tennessee teen Mary Catherine Elizabeth Thomas has released video footage containing the 15-year-old’s voice in a new effort to find the teen, who was last seen on March 13 after she was allegedly kidnapped by her former high school teacher Tad Cummins.

In an approximately one-minute video uploaded by Wayne County Now, Thomas is heard teaching her older brother how to sew a flag.

“Please share this video in hopes that someone recognizes her voice,” officials wrote alongside the video, noting that it was provided by a member of Thomas’ family.

mary-thomas
Credit: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Cummins, 50, is at the center a multi-state AMBER Alert after he allegedly “groomed” and kidnapped Thomas. Cummins was fired from his teaching job at Culleoka Unit School and accused of abducting Thomas after allegedly having sexual contact with her months earlier.

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In an open letter last Thursday, Thomas’ family said they were “desperate” for information about her disappearance and again asked people to come forward if they know something.

“The last ten days have been the most difficult in the life of the Thomas family,” they said in their letter, which was released Thursday via their attorney and obtained by PEOPLE.

Thomas was last seen in Maury County, Tennessee, after a friend dropped her off at a local restaurant.

A Wife’s Plea

As police search for the missing girl, Cummins’ wife, Jill, is pleading with her husband to turn himself in.

“You know you can’t hide forever,” Jill told NBC News. “For your sake and for Beth’s sake, please go to the police or just drop Beth off somewhere safe.”

Thomas’ sister, Sarah, previously told PEOPLE that Thomas grew close to Cummins because she was interested in the medical field and viewed him as a mentor. According to Cummins’ job application, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Cummins worked in the health care industry for more than a decade before joining the Maury County Public School District in 2011.

“It just so happened that she wanted to do the things he was claiming [he did], so she probably idolized [him],” Sarah said. “He took that interest to kind of manipulate, to gain control over her, to gain her favor.”

Sarah said Thomas had recently entered the public school system after being homeschooled for years and had been the target of bullies.

Mary Catherine Elizabeth Thomas and Tad CumminsCredit: TBI
Credit: Courtesy Tennessee Bureau of Investigations

“She said months before that she had to get out of here, we have to get out of here, [and] I can’t take this,” Sarah remembers.

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Thomas’ family said the teen was vulnerable, and likely latched on to Cummins.

“He built up a system where she was dependent on him,” Thomas’ dad, Anthony, previously told PEOPLE.

Authorities allege Cummins is likely keeping Elizabeth “off the grid” and they’ve urged the public to search their properties, local campgrounds, rural areas and parking garages.