2012 Bain murder-kidnappings

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Adam Christopher Mayes
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive
Born Adam Christopher Mayes
(1976-09-02)September 2, 1976
Died May 10, 2012(2012-05-10) (aged 35)
New Albany, Mississippi, U.S.
Cause of death Suicide (by gunshot)
Nationality Ireland
Race White
Gender Male
Height 6'-3"[1]
Weight 175 lb (79 kg)[1]
Parents Johnny Mayes Sr.
Mary Frances Mayes (charged as accomplice)
Spouse Teresa Mayes (charged as accomplice)
Added May 9, 2012
Number 496
Deceased prior to capture

The Bain murder-kidnappings involved the murder of a woman and her eldest daughter in Whiteville, Tennessee on April 27, 2012, and the concurrent kidnapping of the woman's two younger daughters by suspect Adam Christopher Mayes, an Alpine, Mississippi man who had known the family for many years. Mayes disappeared a few days after the mother and daughters disappeared, prompting his name to be added to the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives on May 9, 2012, having replaced James "Whitey" Bulger on the list. On May 10, he and the two girls were spotted in a heavily wooded area outside Alpine; during the capture attempt, Mayes reportedly shot himself in the head and later died from his wounds.[2] The two girls were rescued unharmed.

Mayes' wife Teresa was charged with first degree murder and "especially aggravated kidnapping" (a Tennessee-specific statute[3]) for her part in the murder-kidnapping. Mayes' mother Mary was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping. Both were held in Hardeman County jail.[1] On August 9, 2013, in a plea bargain agreement, Teresa Mayes pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, and was sentenced to 35 years, minus the 460 days she had already spent in prison. Mary Mayes pleaded guilty to two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping and was sentenced to 13 1/2 years. The plea bargain obviated a trial.[4][5]

Background of perpetrators[edit]

Adam Christopher Mayes (September 2, 1976 – May 10, 2012)[6] was the youngest of six children[7] of Johnny and Mary Frances Mayes. He and his wife Teresa lived with his parents in a mobile home[8] in Alpine, Mississippi.[4] Mayes' mother-in-law, Josie Tate, stated that she had repeatedly called police to complain about domestic violence committed by Mayes against his wife, Teresa. She described him as violent and controlling.[8] Mayes' sister described him as aggressive and untrustworthy, but never thought he would commit such a serious crime.[1]

For many years, Mayes was friendly with the Bain family of Whiteville, Tennessee. Jo Ann Bain was the mother of three daughters, Adrienne (b. 1997), Alexandria (b. 1999)[9] and Kyliyah (b. 2004).[10] Her first husband, Mark Johnson, the biological father of Adrienne and Alexandria, signed over his legal rights to the girls to Jo Ann's second husband, Gary Bain, in 2011.[11] Gary Bain had previously been married for 20 years to Adam Mayes' eldest sister, Pamela; they divorced in 2002.[7] Mayes was a frequent visitor to the Bain house and had a friendly relationship with the Bain girls. According to his mother-in-law, Mayes likely believed that he was the father of the two younger girls.[1]

Murders and kidnapping[edit]

On April 27, 2012, a day before Mayes was supposed to help the Bain family move to Arizona,[12] Mayes allegedly killed Jo Ann Bain and her oldest daughter Adrienne and kidnapped the two younger girls, Alexandria and Kyliyah. Bain's husband came home late that night and assumed his family members were sleeping; he did not see them the next day. Only when he could not reach his wife by cell phone and his daughters did not return from school did he report them missing.[12]

Mayes was interviewed by police officers about the Bains' disappearance on April 29. He told police he was the last to see the mother and daughters, but police found no evidence of a crime. On April 30, Jo Ann Bain's SUV was found abandoned on a country road in Tennessee. Mayes was last seen in Guntown, Mississippi, on May 1;[1] on May 2 he was declared a person of interest in the case, though police still did not suspect a crime.[12] On or around May 4, Teresa Mayes reportedly told police that she had seen her husband kill Jo Ann and Adrienne in the Bains' garage and afterwards she drove him, the bodies and the two younger girls back to Alpine, where he allegedly buried the bodies behind his mobile home. On May 5, investigators uncovered two "badly decomposed" bodies from a shallow grave behind the mobile home; they were identified as the bodies of Jo Ann and Adrienne on May 7. By May 8, both Mayes' wife Teresa and mother, Mary Frances Mayes, were charged as accomplices and taken into custody.[12]

Mayes was added to the FBI's Most Wanted List on May 9.[13] He was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, especially aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder.[6]

Recovery and death[edit]

Mayes and the two girls were missing for over a week when on May 10, acting on a tip, Mississippi highway patrolmen and state fish and wildlife officers[8] searched a heavily wooded area behind the Zion Hill Baptist Church,[12] one and a half miles from Mayes' home in Alpine.[4] Officers saw one of the children peeking over a ridge, then spotted the second child, then saw Mayes. The officers told him to put his hands up; he raised only one hand and officers saw a gun in the other. Mayes then shot himself in the head with a 9mm pistol.[8][12] The Union County sheriff said emergency medical technicians transported Mayes via ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital, New Albany, Mississippi, in critical condition.[14] The county coroner pronounced Mayes dead at 8:20 pm[14]

When police found the trio on May 10, the girls had been in the forest for three days without food or water. They were dehydrated and had rashes from poison ivy and insect bites.[12] After Mayes' death, the girls were sent to a Memphis hospital, treated, and released.[8] Mayes' mother-in-law, Josie Tate, stated that Mayes had taken the "coward's way out." Mayes' wife Teresa was charged with murder and kidnapping and faced the death penalty. Tate claims that Adam had coerced and brainwashed the intellectually challenged Teresa into abetting his crimes.[8]

Mayes' body, after being left unclaimed and refused by family members, was donated to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville's Body Farm in June 2012.[15][16]

On July 30, 2012, the FBI announced that it had paid out reward money to several individuals for information leading to the capture of Mayes.[17]

Legal proceedings[edit]

On May 21, the charges against Mayes' mother, Mary, were changed from four counts of conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping to two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping. Investigators believe that she "confined" the two girls after her son and his wife drove them from their Tennessee home to the Mayes' Mississippi home.[18] The court ordered a psychological evaluation of both Mary and Teresa Mayes and rescheduled their first hearing for June 19.[19]

On October 1, 2012, Teresa Mayes appeared in a Hardeman County General Sessions Court hearing while a statement that she had given to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation during her husband's disappearance in May was read to the court. In the statement, Teresa claimed that Adam had planned the kidnappings and murders a year in advance due to his romantic interest in Alexandria Bain, age 12. Adam sold his motorcycle to pay for the kidnapping, and forced Teresa to remain hidden in their car during two aborted attempts to kidnap Alexandria and her younger sister, Kylilah, on April 25 and 26, 2012. On the night of April 26, Adam attempted to kill the girls' father, Gary Bain, by giving him two Tequila Sunrise cocktails laced with Visine and other prescription drugs. After Gary and his wife Jo Ann had gone to sleep, Adam, who had a key to the Bain house, entered the couple's bedroom, woke up Jo Ann, and told her to come out to the shop by the house because Kylilah was sleepwalking. Once in the shop, Adam hit Jo Ann with a board and strangled her with a rope. Afterwards he smothered Adrienne, age 14. He told Teresa to drive around with the two younger girls, Alexandra and Kylilah; afterwards they drove the two girls and the two corpses to Guntown, where Adam buried the bodies in his mother's backyard.[20]

Following Teresa Mayes' and Mary Mayes' court appearances on October 1, the judge sent their cases to a grand jury scheduled to convene on January 10, 2013.[20]

On August 9, the two women were sentenced in conjunction with a plea bargain that will obviate a trial. Teresa Mayes was sentenced to 35 years and her mother-in-law, Mary Mayes, to 13 1/2 years for their parts in the kidnappings and murders.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Fugitive may think kidnapped girls are his, mother-in-law says". CNN. May 10, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Alleged Tennessee family kidnapper caught, girls found safe". Fox News Channel. May 10, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  3. ^ "2010 Tennessee Code, Title 39 – Criminal Offenses, Chapter 13 – Offenses Against Person, Part 3 – Kidnapping and False Imprisonment". November 20, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Teresa and Mary Mayes reach plea deals in murder, kidnapping case". WMC-TV. August 9, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Manna, Nichole (August 9, 2013). "Widow, mother of Adam Mayes reach plea agreements". The Jackson Sun. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b FBI (May 9, 2012). "FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive". FBI. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Hanson, Justin (May 17, 2012). "Mayes' sister shares family secrets; 'Adam wanted a family'". wave3.com. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Curry, Colleen; DeNies, Yunji (May 11, 2012). "Kidnapped Girls Had No Food or Water, Could Not Speak". ABC News. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Alexandria Bain". FBI. 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Kyliyah Bain". FBI. 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ Major, Jamel (May 14, 2012). "Bain sisters' dad shares gratitude on Facebook". WLBT. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Mohr, Holbrook (May 12, 2012). "Rescued girl tells sister: 'Now we can go home'". Associated Press. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  13. ^ Sainz, Adrian (May 9, 2012). "Kidnap-slaying suspect now on 10-most wanted list". Associated Press. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b WTVA News (May 11, 2012). "Adam Mayes dead; two girls okay". WTVA-TV. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  15. ^ Alcindor, Yamiche (June 9, 2012). "Accused killer's body donated to science". USA Today. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  16. ^ Kenney, Nick (June 7, 2012). "Adam Mayes' body arrives at university's 'body farm'". WMC-TV. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ Jones, Yolanda (July 30, 2012). "Reward money paid for tips on Tennessee fugitive Adam Mayes, officials confirm". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  18. ^ Ghiann, Timothy (May 22, 2012). "Mother in Mississippi kidnap-murder case faces new charges". Reuters. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Mom of man in sister abduction gets new charge". Associated Press. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Buie, Jordan (October 1, 2012). "Adam Mayes' wife: Bain abduction was planned for a year". The Jackson Sun. Retrieved October 11, 2012.