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Fugitive's mother, ex-wife charged in Tennessee disappearances

May 08, 2012|By Michael Muskal
  • Mary Frances Mayes, left, mother of Adam Mayes, and Teresa Mayes, Adam Mayes' ex-wife, were arrested Tuesday in connection with the disappearance of Jo Ann Bain and her three daughters.
Mary Frances Mayes, left, mother of Adam Mayes, and Teresa Mayes, Adam Mayes'… (Hardeman County [Tenn.]…)

The mother and ex-wife of Adam Mayes -- a fugitive now being sought in several Southern states -- themselves face conspiracy charges in connection with the disappearance of a Tennessee woman and her three daughters, officials said Tuesday.

The arrests are the latest twists in the search for Mayes, 35, who hasn't been seen since members of the Bain family were reported missing in western Tennessee.

Mayes was the last person to see the woman and her daughters before they disappeared April 27.

The bodies of Jo Ann Bain and her 14-year-old daughter, Adrienne, were discovered last week near Mayes’ Mississippi home. Two other Bain daughters, Alexandria, 12, and Kyliyah, 8, are still missing and presumed to be with Mayes. He faces four counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of filing a false report, according to officials.

Mayes was last seen May 1 in the area around Guntown, Miss., in Union County, where his mother and ex-wife live.

According to an affidavit filed with the latest charges, Mayes also rented a trailer that he kept in Mississippi. Authorities said they found belongings of two of the girls in the trailer.

In the latest arrests, Mary Frances Mayes, 65, of Guntown has been charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping. Teresa Ann Mayes, 31, the ex-wife, also of Guntown, faces the same charges. Both were arrested on Monday, according to Kristin Helm, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Mary Frances Mayes is being held in the Hardeman County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bond. Teresa Ann Mayes is being held on $500,000 bond, officials said.

The accompanying affidavit gives the clearest chronology of events so far:

Adam Mayes, described as a family friend, was with the Bain family early on the morning of April 27.

“It is believed he abducted them, and with Teresa Mayes, took them to Union County, Miss.,” officials said. Guntown is about 80 miles from the Bain home.

Gary Bain, Jo Ann’s husband, called authorities later on April 27 to report his family as missing. Officials had interviewed Mayes before, but when they contacted him after the missing persons report, he took flight, according to the affidavit, signed by Special Agent Cathy L. Ferguson, a Tennessee investigator.

On or about that same day, Mayes was seen digging in his mother’s backyard in Guntown, according to the affidavit, which cites interviews with Mayes’ mother and ex-wife for the information.

By May 4, the FBI had begun digging at the family home in Mississippi and had found two bodies, later identified as Jo Ann Bain and her eldest daughter who “suffered serious bodily injury as a result of their removal or confinement.” The rented trailer was also searched.

Tennessee officials have added Mayes to the state list of its 10 most wanted fugitives. The reward for information on his whereabouts has been increased to $56,000.

Teresa Mayes' sister, Bobbi Booth, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that her sister told her last week that she knew about the killings, but Booth thinks that Teresa Mayes may have been too scared to call the police.

“Teresa started to call, text and Facebook constantly on Thursday,” Booth said.

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, she said.

“I told them exactly what she had told me -- who the bodies were, where they could be dug from,” Booth told the wire service.

The search for Mayes has now moved into high gear, with camouflage-wearing officers combing the woods and back roads of Mississippi near the Mayes’ home. Vehicles have been stopped by officials seeking the fugitive, who authorities believe has altered his appearance.

Mayes is considered armed and dangerous. He also has ties to Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

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michael.muskal@latimes.com

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