- Associated Press - Monday, May 7, 2012

WHITEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A man accused of abducting a mother and her three daughters has been described as being like an uncle to the girls.

Now Adam Mayes, 35, is the subject of an Amber Alert and faces charges in the disappearance of Jo Ann Bain and her daughters: 14-year-old Adrienne, 12-year-old Alexandria and 8-year-old Kyliyah.

Meanwhile, FBI spokesman Joel Siskovic said Sunday that authorities were trying to identify two bodies found at a Mississippi home Mr. Mayes has been linked to. He would not say if they were children. Authorities have described Mr. Mayes as being armed and extremely dangerous.

Mrs. Bain’s husband, Gary, and Mr. Mayes knew each other, Tennessee authorities said.

Mr. Mayes “thought the world of those little girls,” observed Melvin Herron, 42, who lives next door to the Bain family in western Tennessee and recalled seeing the girls playing outside, running and going down water slides.

A combination image shows (clockwise from top left) Jo Ann Bain and her daughters, Adrienne, 14, Kyliyah, 8, and Alexandria, 12. (AP Photo/Mississippi Department of Public Safety)
A combination image shows (clockwise from top left) Jo Ann Bain and ... more >

On Sunday, forensic scientists with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation searched the garage and backyard at the Hardeman County, Tenn., home where Mrs. Bain, her husband and the three girls live.

Mr. Bain declined to comment Sunday to an Associated Press reporter.

“Jo Ann and the kids, everyone loves them. We’re just hoping to hear that they’re safe,” said Linda Kirkland, a family friend and cook at the Country Cafe in Whiteville, Tenn.

Ms. Kirkland said Sunday that the woman and her daughters were moving to Arizona because two of the girls had asthma. Other than dealing with a recent death in the family, Mrs. Bain, who frequented the restaurant, never indicated anything was wrong.

“She seemed so happy,” Ms. Kirkland said.

Mrs. Bain and her daughters last were seen in their home early April 27, according to Kristin Helm, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Mr. Mayes and Mr. Bain long have been acquainted, once having been married to sisters. Ms. Helm said he was viewed as an uncle.

Mayes is a family friend who was staying there that night to help the family pack and drive a U-Haul to Arizona the next day with Gary because the family was planning on moving there within the month,” Ms. Helm said. “Gary was asleep at the home that night and woke to find them gone in the morning and the car gone. Mayes was gone, too.”

Mr. Bain woke up after the kids typically went to school, so he didn’t expect to see them, Ms. Helm said, but then he tried calling his wife on her cellphone during the day and couldn’t reach her.

When the girls didn’t get off the school bus, he reported them missing to the sheriff’s office that evening.

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