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Kidnap-slaying case widens with arrest of wife and mother of suspect in Tenn. abductions
GUNTOWN, Miss. (AP) ' The wife and mother of a Mississippi man suspected of killing a Tennessee woman and her teenage daughter before fleeing with her two younger girls were charged Tuesday in connection with the abduction, authorities said.
Teresa Mayes, 30, was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and Mary Mayes, 65, was charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Meanwhile, the manhunt continued for Adam Mayes 35, and the two young girls ' Alexandra Bain, 12, and Kyliyah Bain, 8. Adam Mayes is considered armed and dangerous.
The FBI said Tuesday authorities are hopeful the two young girls are still alive, but did not elaborate.
An attorney for Teresa Mayes, whose bond was set at $500,000, declined to comment Tuesday afternoon. Calls to the attorney assigned to Mary Mayes were not immediately returned Tuesday. Her bond was set at $300,000.
An affidavit filed in court does not hint at a possible motive for their involvement.
Teresa Mayes told investigators she drove Jo Ann Bain and her daughters from Hardeman County, where they lived, to Union County, Miss., where Adam and Teresa Mayes lived with his parents, according to the affidavit.
The bodies of Jo Ann Bain, 31, and Adrienne Bain, 14, were found last week behind the mobile home in northern Mississippi where the Mayes family lived. The affidavit provides the first clue that the victims may have been killed soon after they were abducted. It said Adam Mayes' wife and mother saw him digging a hole in the yard on April 27 or soon after.
Some items belonging to the two younger girls were found at a trailer rented by Adam Mayes in another part of Union County, the affidavit said.
On Tuesday evening, hundreds of adults, teens and children came from throughout west and central Tennessee and north Mississippi for a prayer vigil at Bolivar Dixie Youth Park, where the two oldest Bain girls played softball.
Mourners sang songs and bowed their heads in prayer as they held red, yellow, orange and purple balloons during the ceremony. Some wept during the vigil and sniffles punctuated the quiet night during a moment of silence for Jo Ann Bain and her three daughters.
Many of the mourners said the kidnappings have shaken their small-town, tight knit communities, from Corinth, Miss., to Whiteville, Tenn.
"This is something you'd expect in a big city," said June Stebbins, 54, whose granddaughters play at the park.
Authorities have said that Adam Mayes was a family friend who was staying with the Bains on April 27, the day the mother and children disappeared.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Teresa Mayes' sister, Bobbi Booth, said her sister told her last week that she knew about the killings, but Booth said she thought Teresa Mayes may have been too scared to call the police.
"Teresa started to call, text and Facebook constantly on Thursday," said Booth, who gave an earlier interview to WMC-TV.
Booth told Teresa Mayes to call the police and was assured that she had, but by Saturday Booth had become suspicious about that claim and called police herself.
"I told them exactly what she had told me: Who the bodies were, where they could be dug from," Booth said.
As it turned out, investigators had begun digging in the Mayes' backyard the previous day.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said she was unaware of Booth calling about the killings but said she might have contacted a different law enforcement agency.
Jo Ann Bain's husband, Gary Bain, last saw his wife and daughters when he woke up briefly early April 27. By the time he got up they were gone, but he did not know they were missing until after the girls failed to come home from school.
Adam Mayes and Gary Bain, who had once been married to sisters, had been planning to drive some of the family's belongings to Arizona the next day because the family was moving to that state.
Before he fled, Adam Mayes admitted to authorities that he was the last person to see Jo Ann Bain and her daughters before the disappearance, according to the affidavit.
Police announced Saturday that they found two bodies at the Mississippi property. They weren't identified until Monday.
Friends and neighbors of the Bains have said Adam Mayes was like an uncle to the three girls.
Booth said they were "like a big happy family." She said she finds it hard to believe that Adam Mayes could kill a child.
"I have cried until I'm sick," she said. "I was totally shocked. I've known him since I was little. We played together when we were kids. I always thought he was odd, but I never dreamed he'd do this."
Booth said she has not had much contact with her sister for the past 11 years because Adam Mayes didn't want his wife to contact her.
"He was very aggressive with her, abusive," she said. Booth said Teresa Mayes also told her she thought her husband was having an affair with Jo Ann Bain.
TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said they don't know if Bain and Mayes were romantically involved. They know the families were friends, and early reports from the investigators said they were trying to determine if Jo Ann Bain had willingly gone with the suspect.
FBI spokesman Joel Siskovic said on Tuesday investigators believed the two youngest daughters were still with Mayes.
Siskovic said no further details were available on the deaths or the search for Mayes. The FBI has not said how Jo Ann and Adrienne Bain died.
Meanwhile, FBI agents in green camouflage, carrying high-powered rifles joined K-9 units and SWAT teams in a search of the woods and back roads of north Mississippi near Mayes' home.
State troopers stopped vehicles and looked in trunks Monday, and FBI agents continued to search the yard of the house where Adam Mayes and his family were living.
Mayes was last seen a week ago in Guntown, about 80 miles south of the Bain family's home in Whiteville, Tenn.
Siskovic said authorities talked to Mayes early on in the investigation, but he fled when they tried to contact him again.
Linda Kirkland, a cook at the Country Cafe in Whiteville who is a Bain family friend, said the family was moving to Arizona because two of the girls had asthma.
Mayes also has ties to Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Booth said she told authorities to look for him in Florida, where he has relatives.
Loller reported from Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press writers Lucas Johnson II in Nashville, Tenn., and Holbrook Mohr in Jackson, Miss., contributed to this report.