Two Tennessee girls are safe and the man who abducted them is dead, but there are still many questions to be answered.
This afternoon, state and federal law enforcement officials held a joint news conference to discuss the case that has captured national attention.
FBI Special Agent in Charge, Daniel McMullen said, "This was an emotional, intense investigation. Over a dozen law enforcement agencies were involved."
The storyline could have been taken from the silver screen, but this was no movie. A mother and her three daughters abducted from Tennessee by a family friend April 27th. The mother, Jo Ann Bain and her 14-year-old daughter, Adrienne, killed; their bodies buried in shallow graves behind the Mississippi home of kidnapping suspect, Adam Mayes. Mayes wife, Teresa, charged with murder in the killings. His mother, Mary Mayes is charged in connection with the kidnapping case.
But where were Adam Mayes, 12-year-old Alexandria and 8-year-old Kyliyah Bain? Time was running out. An Amber Alert went out May 5th and on May 10th, after a tip to MHP's Special Operations Group or SOG and agents with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, all three are discovered in the woods in Union County, Mississippi. MHP Master Sgt. Steve Crawford and Lt. Lee Ellington of the state Wildlife Department described what happened next.
Sgt Crawford said, "I began giving commands. The little girl picked her head up; other little girl picked her head up after another command. Mr. Hayes began to raise his head. I could see a weapon in his hand."
Sgt. Crawford said he ordered Mayes to drop the weapon, but Mayes, who Crawford mistakenly called Hayes, did not.
Crawford continued, "Mr. Hayes raised to his knees, never brandished the gun toward any of us or the children. At that time, he took his life."
Lt. Ellington said, "A lot of prayers were answered whenever we found these two young ladies to be safe."
Governor Phil Bryant said, "The Amber Alert system worked from the very beginning as I was contacted by the Department of Public Safety how effective that was."
FBI SAC McMullen said, "The gentleman that you see assembled here worked non-stop to make sure that we rescued these girls so there was always a sense of urgency."
Alexandria and Kylilyah Bain were treated for poison ivy and dehydration at a Memphis hospital and released. Now, they are back home with their father, safe.
Investigators are not saying whether Mayes spoke before killing himself and they did not say what the girls have told them.
Authorities are trying to find out if anyone may have helped Adam Mayes.
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