The teenager who disappeared from her home in Tennessee says she doesn't want to return to her family and rather, wants to stay with the man who kidnapped her.
15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas was found in an isolated hut in California, 4000km away from her hometown, with her teacher, 50-year-old Tad Cummins.
The teen, who was missing for 39 days, is currently in a trauma treatment facility.
She is telling family and friends that she is "in love" with her abductor, a married grandfather more than three times her age.
Cummins faces state charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor, as well as a federal charge of taking a minor across state lines to have sex.
He is also facing a child trafficking charge for grooming and kidnapping Elizabeth. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation believes Cummins "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom this vulnerable young girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her."
Cummins has two children with his wife, who has filed for divorce.
Elizabeth's mother, Kimberly Thomas, is also facing charges of child abuse and child neglect to five of her 10 children - Elizabeth included.
The allegations against her include that she beat her children, threw them downstairs and locked them in a basement, reports The Tennessean.
This article originally appeared on marie claire.