OUR OPINION: Recovery of girls paramount in search

By NEMS Daily Journal

The manhunt for Adam Mayes and the two young Whiteville, Tenn., girls he was accused of kidnapping on April 27 ended dramatically Thursday night when Mayes shot himself (later dying from the wound), and Mississippi law enforcement officers found Alexandria Bain, 12, and Kyliyah Bain, 8, safe in dense woods behind Zion Hill Baptist Church on County Road 183 in the Alpine community.
Residents of Northeast Mississippi, in particular, and the girls’ relatives in Tennessee, could at last have some sense of relief that the bloody episode was concluded.
Mayes and his wife, Teresa Mayes, have been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Jo Ann Bain, the girls’ mother, and of their sister, Adrienne Bain, 14. Their bodies were discovered earlier in shallow graves behind the mobile home where Mayes and his wife lived with his parents about a mile from where he shot himself in the temple.
No one remembers a larger manhunt or another case so grisly unfolding in Northeast Mississippi. The story was covered by the Daily Journal, other regional and state media, the national press and cable news networks.
Agents of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks found Mayes hiding in the deep woods behind the church after they and a special operations unit of the Mississippi Highway Patrol were assigned to search the tract, following a tip. Mayes shot himself, the girls were taken into protective custody and were taken ultimately to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis for a thorough medical examination and evaluation. They were released Friday morning.
The unfolding and unresolved situation put many people on edge throughout the region, especially those living near the Alpine community in the tri-county area of Union, Lee and Prentiss counties. Mayes was added to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.
The cooperative work of the law enforcement agencies, the support of community residents and neighbors in Union and Lee counties, the 24-hour-per-day search were remarkable and relentless.
The search involved cumulatively hundreds of federal, state, county, city and regional agency law enforcement officers.
The full details of this bloodcurdling and bizarre case probably will be months, even years, in the unfolding.
Now that the girls are safe, the next important phase is determining fully who else may be involved and to seek justice on charges already filed against Teresa Mayes and her mother-in-law, Mary Mayes, who is charged with conspiracy related to the kidnappings.
Human life is precious, and people united to save it.