- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 8, 2012

GUNTOWN, Miss. (AP) — Police have filed kidnapping charges against the wife of a man suspected of killing a Tennessee woman and her oldest daughter and kidnapping the woman’s two other daughters.

As an intense manhunt for Adam Mayes and the two young girls continued, his wife, Teresa Mayes, and mother, Mary Mayes, were arraigned in a Hardeman County, Tenn., courtroom on Tuesday. Mary Mayes, 65, was charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

An affidavit states that Teresa Mayes, 30, told investigators she drove Jo Ann Bain and her daughters from Hardeman County in western Tennessee, where they lived, to Union County, Miss., where Adam and Teresa Mayes lived with his parents.

Calls to the attorneys assigned to represent the two women were not immediately returned.

The bodies of Mrs. Bain and her 14-year-old daughter, Adrienne, were found last week behind the home where the Mayes family lived.

Twelve-year-old Alexandria Bain and 8-year-old Kyliyah Bain still are missing.

Authorities have said that 35-year-old Mr. Mayes was a family friend who was staying with the Bains on April 27, the night that Mrs. Bain and the children disappeared.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, Teresa Mayes‘ sister, Bobbi Booth, said her sister told her last week that she knew about the killings, but Ms. Booth thinks Teresa Mayes may have been too scared to call the police.

Teresa started to call, text and Facebook constantly on Thursday,” Ms. Booth said.

Ms. Booth told her sister to call the police and was assured that she had, but by Saturday Ms. Booth had become suspicious about that claim and called police herself.

“I told them exactly what she had told me: who the bodies were, where they could be dug from,” Ms. Booth said.

As it turned out, investigators had begun digging in the Mayeses’ backyard the previous day.

Kristin Helm, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said she was unaware of Mrs. Booth having called about the killings but said she might have called a different law enforcement agency.

Mrs. Bain’s husband, Gary Bain, last saw his wife and daughters when he woke up briefly in the early hours of that morning. By the time he got up, they were gone, but he did not know they were missing until after the girls failed to come home from school.

Mr. Mayes and Mr. Bain, who once had been married to sisters, had been planning to drive some of the family’s belongings to Arizona the next day because the family was moving there.

Friends and neighbors of the Bains have said that Mr. Mayes was like an uncle to the Bains’ daughters.

Ms. Booth said they were “like a big, happy family.” She said she finds it hard to believe that Mr. Mayes could kill a child.

“I have cried until I’m sick,” she said. “I was totally shocked. I’ve known him since I was little. We played together when we were kids. I always thought he was odd, but I never dreamed he’d do this.”

Ms. Booth said she has not had much contact with her sister for the past 11 years because Mr. Mayes didn’t want his wife to contact her.

“He was very aggressive with her, abusive,” she said. Ms. Booth said Teresa Mayes also told her she thought her husband was having an affair with Mrs. Bain.

Ms. Helm said authorities don’t know if Mrs. Bain and Mr. Mayes were involved. They know the families were friends.

FBI spokesman Joel Siskovic said on Tuesday that investigators believed the two youngest daughters were still with Mr. Mayes. Mr. Siskovic said no further details were available on the deaths or the search for Mr. Mayes. The FBI has not said how Mrs. Bain and Adrienne died.

However, Mr. Siskovic did tell the Associated Press: “We’re still working on the belief that the youngest two daughters are alive. We’re still hopeful.”

Meanwhile, FBI agents wearing green camouflage and carrying high-powered rifles joined K-9 units and SWAT teams in a search of the woods and back roads of north Mississippi near the Mayeses’ home.

State troopers stopped vehicles and looked in trunks Monday, and FBI agents continued to search the yard of the house where Mr. Mayes and his family were living.

Mr. Mayes last was seen a week ago in Guntown, about 80 miles south of the Bain family’s home in Whiteville, Tenn.

Mr. Siskovic said authorities talked to Mr. Mayes early on in the investigation, but he fled when they tried to contact him again.

Mr. Mayes is considered armed and dangerous.

Linda Kirkland, a Bain family friend and cook at the Country Cafe in Whiteville, said the Bains were moving to Arizona because two of the girls had asthma.

Mr. Mayes also has ties to Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Ms. Booth said she told authorities to look for him in Florida, where he has relatives.

“We don’t have anything to confirm or deny his whereabouts,” Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said. “We’re still searching.”


Associated Press writers Lucas Johnson II and Travis Loller in Nashville, Tenn., and Holbrook Mohr in Jackson, Miss., contributed to this report.

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