BOLIVAR, Tenn. (AP) — A Mississippi man's infatuation with a 12-year-old Tennessee girl led him to plot her abduction for a year and kill her mother and sister, according to testimony in court Monday.
The abduction of the girl and another sister, along with the killings, spurred a manhunt through rugged, hilly Mississippi terrain for several days in the spring. The search ended when 35-year-old Adam Mayes fatally shot himself May 10 as authorities closed in on him in the northern Mississippi woods. Twelve-year-old Alexandria Bain and another sister who'd been kidnapped, 8-year-old sister Kyliyah, were rescued.
Little has been known about the motive behind the kidnappings and slayings before Monday, when Mayes' wife and mother appeared in court on charges that they helped him with the crimes.
Mayes' wife, Teresa Mayes, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and especially aggravated kidnapping and her mother-in-law, Mary Frances Mayes, has pleaded not guilty to especially aggravated kidnapping.
A statement by Teresa Mayes was read in court by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Valerie Troutt.
Adam Mayes was friends with the Bain family and was at their Whiteville, Tenn., home on April 27.
Teresa Mayes told investigators that she took the two younger girls on a drive and when she returned with them, her husband had two bodies wrapped in tarps.
The bodies of Jo Ann Bain and her daughter Adrienne, 14, were found several days later, buried at the Mayes home in Guntown, Miss.
Teresa Mayes told authorities her husband said he hit Jo Ann Bain in the head with a board, strangled her with a rope and smothered Adrienne. He also claimed to have drugged Gary Bain, the husband and father of the family, to ensure he couldn't stop the attack.
Teresa Mayes occasionally wiped tears from her eyes during while Troutt read the statement. Hardeman County General Sessions Judge Chip Cary ordered the cases sent to a grand jury that will consider indictments in January.
The statement read in court provided the first explanation of how the Bains were killed and offered details into Adam Mayes' motive. Teresa Mayes said in the statement that her husband was in love with Alexandria and feared losing her because the family was moving to Arizona.
"Adam said he couldn't live without her," Teresa Mayes was quoted as saying. "I think that is why he initiated his plan."
TBI special agent Kathy Ferguson addressed claims that Adam Mayes thought one of the girls was his, testifying, "We found no evidence to suggest that Adam was the father of any of the children."
Teresa Mayes told investigators in her statement that the couple first tried to kidnap the girls April 25 while they waited for the school bus, but arrived too late and missed them. The couple remained in Whiteville, with Adam Mayes visiting the family while his wife hid in their Dodge Durango under blankets for two days, eating only pickles, according to the statement.
Adam Mayes threatened to kill his wife if she didn't help him, the statement said.
On April 27, Adam Mayes entered the Bain home with his key and gave Gary Bain a tequila sunrise cocktail mixed with Visine and prescription drugs, the statement said. Teresa Mayes said her husband told her he then killed Jo Ann Bain — who struggled and scratched his neck — and her oldest daughter, the statement said.
Adam Mayes told his wife that Alexandria didn't want to live in Arizona and they had talked more than a year ago about him taking her away from her family, according to Teresa Mayes' statement.
Kyliyah began crying as Teresa Mayes drove her away from the home, the statement said.
"Alex was telling Kyliyah to calm down, that she was going to be Kyliyah's new mom and Adam was going to be her new dad," the statement said.
The couple then drove to Guntown with the bodies and the surviving girls, and Adam Mayes buried the bodies in their backyard with a borrowed shovel, the statement said.
"Adam acted proud of himself, like he had accomplished his plan," the statement said.
Adam Mayes disappeared into the woods with Alexandria and Kyliyah sometime after May 1. A statement his mother gave to FBI agents, which was read in court, said he packed bags before leaving.