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Adam Mayes Kidnapping Victim Alexandria Bain Tells Sister Kyliyah Bain 'Now We Can Go Home'

By HOLBROOK MOHR 05/12/12 09:39 PM ET AP

Adam Mayes
FILE - This combo of file photos provided by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety shows Alexandria Bain, 12, left, and Kyliyah Bain, 8. Adam Mayes, wanted by the FBI for killing Jo Ann Bain, 31, and her daughter, Adrienne Bain, 14, and kidnapping sisters Alexandria Bain, 12, and Kyliyah Bain, 8, shot himself to death as officers closed in Thursday evening, May 10, 2012, in Guntown, Miss. The two children were rescued without injuries and released from a hospital Friday, ending a nearly tw

GUNTOWN, Miss. — Days of grueling searches for two young girls and the kidnapper who killed their mother and sister led to the kind of terrain that favors the hunted – high hardwoods and deep ravines near a red-brick church perched on a hill.

Specially trained officers had come up empty-handed for days but were following another lead Thursday evening after Adam Mayes was put on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List. Dozens of tips turned up nothing. This latest lead officers to the woods near Zion Hill Baptist Church, just a couple of miles from Mayes' rented mobile home in Guntown, where 31-year-old Jo Ann Bain and her 14-year-old daughter, Adrienne, had been buried in a shallow grave.

The officers had searched the church and later split up and set out down two old logging roads leading deep into the forest. Just 60 yards down, Mississippi Highway Patrol Master Sgt. Steve Crawford saw a little girl's head in the dirt. Within inches, another child. A few more inches, the man who proved so elusive.

A search that dragged on for days ended in seconds.

"Let's see your hands," the officers shouted.

Mayes pushed himself up to his knees, pulled out a 9 mm pistol and shot himself in the head. He didn't utter a word, and died a couple hours later at hospital.

Twelve-year-old Alexandria Bain and 8-year-old Kyliyah sat up, subdued, within reach of Mayes' body. Crawford said they didn't cry, instead looking almost relieved.

"Now we can go home," Lt. Lee Ellington heard the older girl tell her little sister. Ellington was part of a team from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Home was a place the girls hadn't seen since April 27, when Mayes, a friend they considered an uncle, killed Jo Ann and Adrienne Bain in the garage of their home in Whiteville, Tenn., according to police.

Mayes, a friend of Jo Ann's husband, Gary, had gone to the house the night before to help the family pack for a move to Arizona. Instead, police say he killed the mother and daughter, packed their corpses into a car, grabbed the younger girls and headed south with his wife to the mobile home in Guntown. Authorities have not said how they were killed or what time it may have happened.

Police say Gary Bain told them his wife and daughters were asleep when he went to bed at midnight and were gone when he woke the next day, but he figured the girls went to school and Jo Ann had gone somewhere, too. But she didn't answer her phone that day, and the girls never got off the school bus that afternoon.

At 8 p.m., he called the Hardeman County Sherriff's Office to report them missing. Police interviewed Mayes. Even Mayes admits to investigators on April 29 that he was the last one to see Jo Ann and the girls, but police said they had no evidence of a crime. And it first, it wasn't known if Jo Ann had willingly left and taken the kids with her.

On April 30, Jo Ann Bain's SUV was found abandoned on a country road in Tennessee. That same day, Adam Mayes was seen at a market in Mississippi with his usual long hair chopped off. He told another customer it will be cooler in the hot, brutal Southern summer; investigators would later warn he may have cut the girls' hair to disguise them, too.

Hardeman County Sheriff John Doolen said two days later that Mayes is a person of interest in the case but that there are no signs of foul play – not yet.

On May 4, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an endangered child alert, pleading for the public's help in finding the family. At first, investigators still said they have no evidence of a crime.

However, according to police documents, Mayes' wife, Teresa admitted her involvement around the same time. The documents show Teresa Mayes told investigators she saw Adam Mayes kill the mother and daughter in the garage of their home so he could abduct the younger children. Their bodies were loaded into a car, along with Adam Mayes, Alexandria and Kyliyah, and Teresa Mayes drove everyone some two hours to the mobile home in Guntown. Teresa Mayes also tells authorities she saw her husband digging a hole in the backyard.

On May 5, the Mississippi Highway Patrol issued an amber alert for the children in that state, warning that Mayes is armed and dangerous. That same day, investigators say two bodies are found buried in the Mayes' backyard. They are badly decomposed and are not identified as Jo Ann and Adrienne Bain until two days later.

By May 8, Adam Mayes' wife and his mother have been arraigned on charges of helping with the crimes, but there was still no trace of the two sisters. The girls told their rescuers they had gone three days without any food or water, so it's possible that's about the time they began hiding out in the woods, an area filled with old deer hunting shelters. Some investigators believe they were in the woods even longer before being found late Thursday, exhausted, dehydrated and itching with poison ivy.

Alexandria and Kyliyah's ordeal then came to an abrupt end, just a few miles from where their mother and sister had been buried. They were given water, whisked away in an ambulance, shielded by giant white sheets at the hospital so they could walk into the emergency room without the glare of news cameras.

Adam Mayes spared them. They were alive. Now it will be up to the fragile memories of young, traumatized girls to answer the questions nagging at experienced lawmen who worked long hours to find them: Where had they been? How did they survive in the woods?

And then there are the painful questions that need to be answered. Did Mayes hurt them? Did they watch their mom and big sister die?

But because Adam Mayes put a bullet in his head, people may never solve the biggest mystery: Why did he do all this?

"That was too good for him. He should have suffered just a little bit more," said Beverly Goodman, Jo Ann Bain's aunt. "I was hoping they was gonna take him alive `cause I wanted some answers to some questions that probably will never get answered now."


Associated Press writers Erik Schelzig in Whiteville, Tenn., and Adrian Sainz in Guntown contributed to this report.


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  • Jo Ann Bain and daughters

    Jo Ann Bain (upper left) and her three daughters were abducted in Tennessee on April 27. The bodies of Bain and her oldest daughter were found more than a week later in Mississippi behind the home of their family friend and suspected kidnapper Adam Mayes. Police and the FBI are searching for Kyliyah (lower right), 8, and Alexandria, 12.

  • Adam Mayes

    Adam Mayes is wanted in connection with the disappearance of Jo Ann Bain and her three daughters who were abducted in Tennessee and seen last in Mississippi. The bodies of Bain and her oldest daughter Adrienne, 14, were found behind Mayes' home in Mississippi.

  • Adam Mayes Found Dead

    Adam Mayes was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Thursday night.

  • Alexandria and Kyliyah Bain Rescued

    Missing girls Alexandria and Kyliyah Bain were rescued alive on Thursday night.

  • Adam Mayes' Home

    Adam Mayes' home in Alpine, Miss., where the bodies of Jo Ann Bain and her daughter, Adrienne, were found earlier this week.

  • Mary Mayes and Teresa Mayes

    Police arrested Mary Mayes (left), the mother of wanted kidnapping suspect Adam Mayes, and his wife Teresa Mayes on May 8. They're accused of charges related to the murder of Jo Ann Bain and her daughter Adrienne and the abduction of Bain's two other daughters Alexandria and Kyliyah Bain.

  • Jo Ann Bain

    Jo Ann Bain, 31, was abducted shortly before she and her family were scheduled to move from Tennessee to Arizona.

  • Alexandria Bain

  • Adrienne Bain

  • Kyliyah Bain

  • Adam Mayes

    This undated photo provided by the Hardeman County (Miss.) Sheriff's Department shows Adam Mayes. Warrants for kidnapping are being issued for Mayes, who is considered "armed and extremely dangerous," an official said in a news release May 5, 2012. Mayes is wanted in connection with the disappearance of Jo Ann Bain and her three daughters, who were abducted in Tennessee and last seen in Mississippi. (AP Photo/Hardeman County (Miss) Sheriff's Department)

  • DeSoto County SWAT team members get their equipment organized at a staging area in the parking lot of East Union High School in Blue Springs, Miss. on Sunday May 6, 2012. A man-hunt involving multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies is active in Union County as they search for Adam Mayes. (Mike Brown/The Commercial Appeal)

  • U.S. Marshalls walk around a wooded area behind the home rented to Adam Mayes near Guntown, Miss. on Sunday May 6, 2012. Authorities believe that Mayes abducted Jo Ann Bain and her three daughters. The bodies of two people were discovered buried on the property early Saturday morning during the search for a missing Tennessee woman and her three children. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Mike Brown)

  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents inspect the home and garage of a woman and her three young daughters who authorities say were abducted near Whiteville, Tenn., on Sunday, May 6, 2012. The FBI has said two bodies were found at a home connected to Adam Mayes in Mississippi, but agents have released few other details. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents inspect the home and garage of a woman and her three young daughters who authorities say were abducted near Whiteville, Tenn., on Sunday, May 6, 2012. The FBI has said two bodies were found at a home connected to Adam Mayes in Mississippi, but agents have released few other details. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

  • Six-year-old Eli Downen, left, and 5-year-old Brayden Waller write notes to a kidnapped Tennessee mother and her three daughters before a prayer vigil on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in Bolivar, Tenn. The mother, Jo Ann Bain, and her oldest daughter were found dead in a home in Mississippi. Authorities say her two youngest daughters may still be with a man who abducted them. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)

  • Hundreds of adults, teens and children attend a prayer vigil at Bolivar Dixie Youth Park, where missing sisters, Alexandra Bain, 12, and Kyliyah Bain, 8, used to play softball in Bolivar, Tenn., Tuesday, May, 8, 2012. Mourners sang songs and bowed their heads in prayer as they held red, yellow, orange and purple balloons during the ceremony, as the hunt continued for a Mississippi man suspected of killing the sisters' mother, Jo Ann Bain, 31, and older sister, Adrienne Bain, 14, before fleeing with the two younger girls. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)


Filed by Steven Hoffer  |