By JB Clark and Stephanie Rebman/NEMS Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – The man wanted in connection with kidnapping a Tennessee family and killing two of them fatally shot himself in a wooded area of Union County on Thursday night.
Shortly before 7:30 p.m., law enforcement officials discovered Adam Mayes, 35, and found the two girls he had kidnapped on April 27. They were found about half a mile behind Zion Hill Baptist Church on County Road 183.
The missing girls, Alexandria Bain, 12, and Kyliyah Bain, 8, were transported to a hospital in Memphis for observation, according to the FBI. Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards gave a thumbs-up at the apprehension scene and said the girls were going to be OK. He said he gave them a hug.
Mayes was transported to New Albany’s Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County where he was pronounced dead at 8:17 p.m. Union County Deputy Coroner Baron Baker said he died of a handgun shot to the temple. His body was en route to the state crime lab Thursday night.
Troopers from the Mississippi Highway Patrol Special Operations Troop and the Law Enforcement Arm of the Mississippi Wildlife and Fisheries and Parks located Mayes and when they moved in to apprehend him, he shot himself.
Edwards said Mayes was still alive when he was taken from the scene. FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen said Mayes died en route to the hospital.
A neighbor of the church, who did not want to be identified, said he was sitting with his wife when he heard people yelling in the woods. He heard shouts and commotion and then heard a gunshot. That’s when everyone swept in.
“We feel better,” the neighbor said. “It’s weird to have all of this happen in your backyard.”
Other area law enforcement officers are happy the search is over.
“It is a relief that the children are found alive and the public is not in fear of this subject any longer,” Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said.
McMullen expressed his gratitude to the scores of law enforcement officials who worked on the investigation.
“I want to thank everyone who was involved in this investigation for their assistance, the dedicated men and women who worked around the clock to bring the sisters home,” McMullen said.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations will process the crime scene where the girls were found.
Mayes’ wife, Teresa, told investigators her husband killed Jo Ann Bain and Adrienne Bain, 14, on April 27 at their home in Whiteville, Tenn., so he could abduct the two young sisters.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Adam Mayes’ mother-in-law said she thought Mayes may be the father of Alexandria and Kyliyah Bain.
Law enforcement officials found the bodies of Jo Ann Bain and her oldest daughter, Adrienne, 14, over the weekend buried behind the home Adam Mayes rented with his wife and parents at 1373 Highway 9 N. in the Alpine community near Guntown.
Adam Mayes and Teresa Mayes were each charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping in a Hardeman County, Tenn., affidavit Wednesday morning. Teresa Mayes is in custody in the Hardeman County Jail.
Also Wednesday, Adam Mayes was added to the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list.
The FBI, U.S. Marshals and local law enforcement had swarmed the Alpine community area ever since the bodies were discovered, believing he was hiding out in the area.
Adam Mayes’ mother, Mary Mayes, also was charged Monday with three counts of conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping and is in the Hardeman County Jail.