The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Tad Cummins had been taken into custody and that the girl, Elizabeth Thomas, was found in Siskiyou County in northern California.
Cummins and Thomas went undetected until March 29 when the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation got a call from a Super 8 Motel employee who reported Cummins had stayed at a location in Oklahoma City on March 15-16, the report states.
The Cecilville cabin is located in Siskiyou County, the fifth-largest by area in California and is 10 times the size of Maury County.
As daylight broke Thursday morning, deputies were able to take Cummins into custody without incident and safely recover Elizabeth Thomas, TBI spokesperson Josh DeVine said. The main concern is for her emotional well-being, Gwyn said.
Tad Cummins, 50, had been sought for a month after he went missing with the teen, Elizabeth Thomas.
Tad Cummins is now in the Siskiyou County Jail.
They have only implied the pair had sexual relations by charging Cummins with sexual contact with a minor and a federal charge of transporting a minor across state lines to have sexual intercourse. "We're also grateful for the public's support and vigilance throughout this search effort".
Police issued an Amber Alert for Thomas and have said they have warrants charging Cummins with sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping.
After the capture, one federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines for the objective of having criminal sexual intercourse was filed against Cummins, said Jack Smith, acting U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Staggs and Thomas' sister spoke every day while she was missing and they celebrated her return, but she had no kind words for the man who had taken Elizabeth. He said, "She is excited that they were found and nobody was hurt". "She's probably going to be hungry".More news: War sacrifice of Canadian soldiers praised
Thomas added his daughter would need therapy, and her family planned to be patient with her.
"We're happy, we're beyond ecstatic that she's finally home". The school system said the community can now begin healing.
Elizabeth Thomas was a student in Cummins' forensics class.
A 12-year-old student at Culleoka Unit School in Maury County, Tennessee was the first person to report suspected inappropriate behavior between Thomas and Cummins.
According to law enforcement in Tennessee, another student reported Cummins to school administrators in January. Cooper didn't provide details on what was in the note, but said it appeared to have been a diversion to throw investigators off the trail.
As of March 14 - the day after Cummins and Thomas disappeared - Amber Alerts had been issued in Tennessee and Alabama and Cummins was sacked by the school system. He didn't buy "anything else of significance", the TBI said.
A 30-year-old male officer, initially listed as critical with life-threatening injuries after being shot in the chin and ribcage, was upgraded to serious but stable condition. That afternoon, investigators say, they determined Elizabeth was 80 miles away in Decatur, Alabama.
Siskiyou County is more than 2,000 miles from Culleoka, Tennessee. He tried honking his horn but it didn't work, so he hollered for them and eventually they emerged, he said.
Last month, the agency released new images of Cummins in an effort to keep the case in the spotlight.