Kidnap-slaying suspect Adam Mayes was pronounced dead at a New Albany hospital after shooting himself in the head as authorities closed in on him Thursday night, according to Daniel McMullen, FBI special agent in charge for Mississippi.
Mayes was found in woods near County Road 183 in Union County behind the Zion Hill Baptist Church. Reports of Mayes having been found started coming in around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards tells the Daily Journal Mayes was taken to Baptist Hospital in New Albany hospital with a self-inflicted gun shot wound. Edwards said when Mayes left the scene to go to the hospital he was still alive.
Mays was accused of killing a Tennessee mother and daughter before disappearing for nearly two weeks with her two other children.
The two missing girls, Alexandria Bain, 12, and Kyliyah Bain, 8, are safe and on the way to a hospital in Memphis. Additional details were not immediately known Thursday evening.
“Thank God it’s over and the babies are safe,” said Bobbi Booth, the sister of Adam Mayes’ wife Teresa. “That’s all that mattered. I’m just glad it turned out the way it did.”
Dee Hart, who organized a Tuesday night vigil for the girls in Bolivar, Tenn., said their prayers were answered.
“No words can express our elation,” she said by phone. “We know prayers brought those babies home. I can’t wait to see them.”
Guntown Police Chief Michael Hall tells The Associated Press a SWAT team located Mayes and when they moved in to apprehend him, he shot himself.
A neighbor near the scene of the incident told Daily Journal reporter JB Clark he was sitting with his wife and heard people yelling in the woods and thought they were forestry folks. It was behind the church. He heard shouts and commotion in the woods and he heard a gunshot. That’s when several law enforcement officials swept in.
Mayes’ wife, Teresa, told investigators her husband killed Jo Ann and Adrienne Bain on April 27 at the Bain home in Whiteville, Tenn., so he could abduct the two young sisters.
“It is a relief that the children were found alive and the public is not in fear of this subject any longer,” Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said.
Read more about this story in Friday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.