GUNTOWN, Miss. — A man wanted by the FBI for killing a mother and daughter and kidnapping two other girls shot himself to death as officers closed in, but the two children were rescued without injuries and released from a hospital Friday.
Authorities who tracked Adam Mayes to a wooded area Thursday evening said they repeatedly ordered him to surrender, but he pulled out a pistol and shot himself in the head. The FBI put him on their Top 10 most-wanted list this week in the killing of a Tennessee woman and her oldest daughter and the kidnapping of the two younger daughters.
Mayes, 35, was pronounced dead and sisters Alexandria Bain, 12, and Kyliyah Bain, 8, were rescued, ending a nearly two-week search that began when Jo Ann Bain and her three daughters disappeared from their Tennessee home April 27.
After getting a tip, law enforcement officers were sent to search a densely wooded area west of Mayes' home in Guntown, Miss., said Aaron T. Ford, special agent in charge of the FBI's Memphis, Tenn., office.
Mayes and the girls had been holed up in a wooden structure in the woods, said a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
At 6:50 p.m. Thursday, an officer saw Alexandria Bain in an area about 100 yards behind a church, Ford said. Officers shouted commands for Mayes to show his hands, Ford said. But Mayes pulled a semiautomatic pistol from his waistband and shot himself in the head, Ford said.
Law enforcement officers moved in to rescue the two girls, who were lying on the ground nearby. Ford said they looked like they had been in the woods for two or three days and were suffering from exposure, dehydration and poison ivy, but were otherwise safe.
"They were immediately given water as they were escorted to safety," Ford said. The girls were hospitalized "as a precaution," he said.
In addition to the pistol, Mayes had a rifle and a sawed-off shotgun, Guntown Police Chief Michael Hall said.
"We are very relieved at this event tonight," Ford said at an early Friday news conference. "We have two little girls that we can return to Tennessee to their family."
Sara Burnett, a spokeswoman for Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, said the two girls were treated and released early Friday. Burnett didn't have details on their conditions and didn't know who picked them up.
Mayes had been charged with first-degree murder in the April 27 deaths of Jo Ann Bain, 31, and her daughter, Adrienne Bain, 14. Their bodies were found buried outside Mayes' home a week after they were reported missing by Jo Ann Bain's husband.
Mayes' wife, Teresa, also is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths. She told investigators he killed Jo Ann and Adrienne Bain at their Whiteville, Tenn., home so he could abduct the two young sisters, according to court documents.
Adam Mayes had been investigated in 2010 on allegations of child abuse and possessing child pornography, according to records from the Madison County Sheriff's Office in Jackson, Tenn. A family member claimed to have seen Mayes nude as he shaved the legs of a nude 7-year-old girl.
Mayes denied the allegations, and he was never charged. An investigator concluded the claim about the abuse, as well as the allegation he had child pornography, were unfounded.
The Associated Press isn't naming the child in the case because of the nature of the abuse allegation.
Ford and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn said authorities still had many unanswered questions and were continuing their investigation. They did not say how the girls and Mayes were able to survive in the woods.
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