After a nearly two-week manhunt, Tennessee murder-kidnap suspect Adam Mayes died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound as a SWAT team closed in on him, allowing authorities to safely recover the two girls he was accused of kidnapping. NBC's Thanh Truong reports.
Updated at 10:00 a.m. ET: Three more people have been arrested in connection with the killing of a Tennessee woman and her daughter and the kidnapping of her two younger daughters, CNN reported Friday morning. The arrests were for making a false statement to authorities and illegal possession of a firearm, a law enforcement source said.
As a SWAT team closed in Thursday evening on Adam Mayes — the man accused of killing Jo Ann Bain and her older daughter, Adrienne, before disappearing for nearly two weeks with her two other children — he shot himself in the head, police said. This allowed authorities to safely recover the kidnapped girls, who were nearby.
Acting on a tip, police had found Mayes, 35, and the girls near New Albany, Miss., according to Guntown Police Chief Michael Hall.
Authorities spotted one of the missing girls — 12-year-old Alexandria Bain — in a densely wooded area behind a church several miles west of Mayes' home, said Aaron T. Ford, special-agent-in-charge of the FBI's Memphis, Tenn., office. Law enforcement agents repeatedly ordered Mayes to come out with his hands up, Ford said at a news conference early Friday. But Mayes refused to raise his hands, pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot himself.
Ford said authorities then moved in and recovered Alexandria and her sister, Kyliyah Bain, 8. The girls appeared to have been in the woods for two or three days and were suffering from exposure, dehydration and poison ivy infection, Ford said.
'I gave them a big hug'
They were taken by authorities to a hospital to be examined, according to WMCTV.com.
Josie Tate, the mother-in-law of now-deceased murder and kidnapping suspect Adam Mayes, talks to TODAY's Savannah Guthrie about the nearly two-week manhunt for Mayes and what may have driven him to kill a woman and a teenager and kidnap two young girls.
When reporters asked a law enforcement official whether Alexandria and Kyliyah had said anything, he replied, "We just tried to love them and feed them."
The two girls were hungry but had a jug of water with them, Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said. "I told them it's going to be OK. I gave them a big hug. ... When I seen these kids, it was a huge relief," Edwards told Reuters.
Mississippi Department of Public
Jo Ann Bain and her daughters, Adrienne, 14, Kyliyah 8, and Alexandria,12. Bain and her daughters disappeared on April 27. The bodies of Jo Ann Bain and Adrienne Bain were found last week behind the mobile home in northern Mississippi
Mayes was pronounced dead at a hospital, Daniel McMullen, the FBI's special agent in charge of Mississippi, said at a news conference. Mayes had a 9mm gunshot wound that passed from his right temple through the other side of his head, Union County Deputy Coroner Rob Anderson told Reuters.
Mayes was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the slayings of Jo Ann Bain, 31, and her eldest daughter, Adrienne Bain, 14, whose bodies were found in a shallow grave outside Mayes' mother's home last week.
Mayes' mother told police she had seen him digging there, according to an affidavit filed Wednesday. Mayes was, by his own admission, the last person to see Jo Ann Bain and her three daughters.
Eager to find the two younger girls, the FBI rushed Mayes to its 10 Most Wanted list on Wednesday, hoping the exposure would help locate them. By Thursday evening, a red banner with the word "Deceased" was posted across his mugshot.
Police believe that Mayes, who was at the Bains' home the evening before they disappeared, kidnapped the Bains from their Whiteville, Tenn., home on April 27. Gary Bain, the father, reported his family missing.
Authorities charged Mayes and his wife, Teresa Mayes, on Wednesday with first-degree murder in their deaths. Mayes' mother, Mary France Mayes, was charged earlier with conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping.
A police affidavit obtained by WMC states that Teresa watched her husband kill Jo Ann Bain in a garage adjacent to the Bains' home. She told police that Mayes also killed Adrienne Bain at the home, the affidavit says. Police say she admitted to driving a vehicle with the bodies inside it to Alpine, Miss.
FBI most wanted list
In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Josie Tate, Mayes' mother-in-law, said her son believed the two younger girls were his daughters. That belief caused problems in his marriage to Teresa Mayes, her daughter, who is jailed.
"She was tired of him doting on those two little girls that he claimed were his," Tate told the AP.
A friend of Mayes told Fox News that Mayes had had a heart attack and wore a heart monitor. He would need a heart transplant within a year, the friend said.
The friend told WMC that Mayes was obsessed with the two young Bain girls, believing them to be his daughters. He wanted to custody of them, the friend said.
Authorities refused to comment on the motive for the April 27 slayings and abductions.
"Thank God it's over and the babies are safe," said Teresa Mayes' sister, Bobbi Booth. "That's all that mattered. I'm just glad it turned out the way it did."
Dee Hart, who organized a Tuesday night vigil for the girls in Bolivar, Tenn., said their prayers were answered.
"No words can express our elation," she said by phone. "We know prayers brought those babies home. I can't wait to see them."
The Associated Press, Reuters, NBC News and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.
More content from msnbc.com and NBC News:
- Obama who? Gay marriage foes seek to extend gains
- US priests reportedly behind crackdown on nuns
- Video: Rep. Frank 'pleased' with Obama on gay marriage
- Cyclist spots stolen bike on Craigslist, steals it back
- Feds sue Sheriff Joe, alleging racial profiling