UPDATE: Law enforcement searching in Union County

By Wire and staff reports





Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards tells Daily Journal reporter Errol Castens officers cannot be certain that Adam Mayes, the suspect in the disappearance of a Hardeman County, Tenn., family, is still near his home near the Alpine community of Union County.

The suspicion must be strong, however, as dozens of law enforcement vehicles and scores of officers continue to be assembled at East Union High School, where the Union County Urban Search and Rescue trailer serves as a command post.

In addition to Union County Sheriff Department, some of the agencies visible include Desoto County Sheriff Department, Tupelo Police Department, Mississippi Highway Patrol (including MHP’s Special Operations Group) and Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District.

Vehicle checkpoints have been set up near the Alpine community, where two bodies were discovered in shallow graves, reportedly at the home that Mayes lived in.

Edwards said he expects officers to be in the area “at least through tonight.”

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A command post has been set up at East Union High School of law enforcement officials. Daily Journal reporter Errol Castens is on the scene and we’ll have more as it is available.

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TBI agents at home of missing mom, 3 daughters

ERIK SCHELZIG,Associated Press

WHITEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are searching the garage and backyard at the home where a Tennessee woman and her three daughters lived before going missing.

An Associated Press reporter saw the agents searching Sunday afternoon before being told to leave the street where the home was located.

Authorities are searching for Jo Ann Bain and her daughters, 14-year-old Adrienne, 12-year-old Alexandria and 8-year-old Kyliyah. Investigators believe they were abducted by 35-year-old Adam Mayes, whom they have described as a family friend.

On Saturday, authorities found two bodies at a home in Mississippi. The FBI said the home was somehow connected to Mayes but did not elaborate.

Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards confirmed to the NEMS Daily Journal Saturday night that two bodies had been discovered in the Alpine community of eastern Union County. He could not provide identities of the deceased, but said several law enforcement agencies are involved in the ongoing investigation.

The bodies were found late Friday night or early Saturday morning at a residence associated with Mayes, FBI spokesman Joel Siskovic told The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis.

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Friend: Mom, 3 kids had moved to Ariz. recently

WHITEVILLE, Tenn. — A woman and her three young daughters who authorities say were abducted from Tennessee had recently moved to Arizona because two of the girls had asthma, a family friend said Sunday.

Linda Kirkland a cook at the Country Cafe in Whiteville, Tenn., said that Jo Ann Bain and her three daughters had been back in the Whiteville area to take care of some business after a death in the family. Asthma sufferers have long flocked to Arizona believing the dry, warm climate might ease the condition.

Bain had frequented the restaurant and never indicated anything was wrong.

“She seemed so happy,” Kirkland said.

“Jo Ann and the kids, everyone loves them. We’re just hoping to hear that they’re safe.”

Bain’s daughters are 14-year-old Adrienne, 12-year-old Alexandria and 8-year-old Kyliyah. Authorities say they are believed to have been abducted by 35-year-old Adam Mayes. He is charged with kidnapping in Tennessee.

The FBI has said two bodies were found at a home connected to Mayes in Mississippi, but agents have released few other details.

Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards confirmed to the NEMS Daily Journal Saturday night that two bodies had been discovered in the Alpine community of eastern Union County. He could not provide identities of the deceased, but said several law enforcement agencies are involved in the ongoing investigation.

Authorities were working Sunday to identify the bodies, which were found in Mississippi, said FBI spokesman Joel Siskovic. He would not say if they were children. They were found late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

The Bains were last seen April 27 in Hardeman County, Tenn., which is about 70 miles east of Memphis. The woman’s husband reported her missing, and her vehicle was found abandoned.

Authorities were still trying to determine if Jo Ann Bain went with Mayes willingly.

He was last seen Tuesday in Guntown, Miss., about 80 miles southeast of Hardeman County, Tenn. He’d been described as a family friend.

The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service announced Saturday a reward of up to $50,000 for information that leads to the location of the missing victims and the arrest of Mayes.

Siskovic said the bodies were found in a residence, but it wasn’t clear if it was a house, mobile home or apartment.

Siskovic said authorities talked to Mayes early on in the investigation, but he fled when they tried to contact him again. The FBI says they were not immediately aware of Mayes having a criminal record.

Authorities had said that Mayes could be in Mississippi but that he has ties to Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

Authorities described Adrienne as a white girl with brown hair and eyes. She’s 5 feet 4 inches tall and 129 pounds. Alexandria has brown hair and hazel eyes and is 5 feet tall and 105 pounds. Kyliyah has blonde hair and brown eyes and is 4 feet tall and 57 pounds.

Mayes has brown hair and blue eyes and is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds.

Melvin Herron, 42, lives next door to the Bain family in Tennessee. He recalled seeing the girls playing outside, running and going down water slides.

Herron said he had met Mayes on several occasions, and that the man apparently “thought the world of those little girls.” Mayes often played softball and kickball with the children, Herron said.

Herron said he hoped the bodies found in Mississippi were not the girls or their mother.

“I’m praying to God it’s not those little girls,” he said.

Authorities said Mayes may have cut his hair, as well as cut and dyed the girls’ hair to disguise their identities.

Anyone with information is asked to call 601-987-1353 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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Associated Press reporter Holbrook Mohr contributed to this report from Jackson, Miss.


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