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Uncle-like figure sought in disappearance of woman, 3 daughters

May 07, 2012|By Michael Muskal
  • DeSoto County SWAT team members get their equipment organized at a staging area in the parking lot of East Union High School in Blue Springs, Miss. A manhunt involving multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies was looking for Adam Mayes, a suspect in the disappearance of a woman and her three children.
DeSoto County SWAT team members get their equipment organized at a staging… (Mike Brown/The Commercial…)

In a desperate manhunt in several Southern states, authorities are searching for a 35-year-old man in connection with the disappearance of a Tennessee woman and her three daughters.

At stake are the lives of Jo Ann Bain and daughters Adrienne, 14; Alexandria, 12; and Kyliyah, 8. The four disappeared April 27 and were reported missing by Jo Ann’s husband, Gary. Jo Ann's vehicle was found abandoned several days later, according to the FBI in Memphis, Tenn.

The suspect is Adam Mayes, described as a friend of the family; he's considered armed and dangerous and has likely altered his appearance, authorities said.

Mayes hasn't been seen since May 1. A $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his location and arrest.

Mayes was last spotted in Guntown, Miss.; two bodies were recovered there last week in a house with which Mayes was associated. Authorities were still doing tests on the bodies Monday, trying to confirm the identities.

Mayes has connections to Arizona and Mississippi as well as Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida, said officials at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

The tale already crosses two states -- Tennessee and Mississippi, where local and federal officials are pressing their investigations. The Bain family lived in Hardeman County in rural western Tennessee, about 70 miles from Memphis.

Mayes and Gary Bain had long been acquainted, having once been married to sisters, according to Kristin Helm of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Mayes apparently had been viewed as an uncle.

“Mayes is a family friend who was staying there that night to help the family pack and drive a U-Haul to Arizona the next day with Gary because the family was planning on moving there within the month,” Helm told the Associated Press. “Gary was asleep at the home that night and woke to find them gone in the morning and the car gone. Mayes was gone too.”

Bain tried to call his wife later in the day but couldn’t reach her, Helm said. When the children didn’t come home from school, he reported them missing to the local sheriff. On April 30, the vehicle was found abandoned.

Authorities talked to Mayes early on, but when they again reached out to him, he fled. He was last seen in Guntown, about 80 miles from the Bain home, officials said.

According to the FBI, federal search warrants “were executed at residences in Mississippi on May 4, 2012. During that search, two bodies were found. At this time their identities are unconfirmed,” the FBI said.

It was unclear who owned the homes, but officials said they were associated with Mayes or his friends. The bodies were found in the Guntown-area.

Adrienne Bain has brown hair and eyes, officials said. She is  5 feet 4 inches tall and 129 pounds. Alexandria, with brown hair and hazel eyes, is 5 feet tall and 105 pounds. Kyliyah has blond hair and brown eyes and is 4 feet tall and weighs 57 pounds.

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

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Michael.muskal@latimes.com

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