Tad Cummins, 50, left a letter for his wife Jill, 49, the morning he disappeared with a 15-year-old student, Elizabeth Thomas.
In the letter, Cummins said how sorry he was for leaving but that he would be back.
“I am so sorry,” he wrote. “I just need to clear my mind of all this crap. I am not running away. I’ll be back. Don’t call police they’ll think I ran ’cause I’m guilty and I’m not!'”
A Nashville court hearing revealed the contents of the letter Friday not as Cummins was ordered to remain in custody and was deemed a flight risk. A trial day has not yet been set.
The former health science teacher is facing charges of bringing a minor across state lines for sex and could be sentenced to life in prison.
FBI agent Utley Noble testified during the court hearing that Cummins admitted to authorities of having sex with Thomas most night during the 38 days he was on the run with her.
Cummins reportedly said their sexual relationship began the night after they disappeared on March 13.
Noble also said that Cummins bought an iPad to monitor the media’s coverage of them.
Cummins revealed at the court hearing that he spent $1,500 on a two-seat kayak and that he and Thomas attempted to get to Mexico in it. He allegedly told officers he thought he had been caught when he ran into a law enforcement officer while he was testing out the kayak. But the officer only warned them that the water was rough and gave them tips on the boat before leaving.
From that point on, Nobles said Cummins slept with his gun beside him.
Noble said there was no evidence that Thomas was held against her will. Another report from The Tennessean, however, claims that Cummins threatened Thomas with consequences if she didn’t go with him.
Here is Cummins’ full letter to his wife:
I am so sorry! I am on my way to Virginia Beach and maybe DC just to think and clear my mind of all this crap. I am not running away. I’ll be back. Don’t call police they’ll think I ran ’cause I’m guilty and I’m not! I love you and I’ll call you soon. Please forgive me.
The two were found on April 20 when police tracked them to a remote cabin 2,500 miles away in northern California.