The mother-in-law of Mississippi fugitive Adam Mayes said Friday on TODAY that she believes her daughter was a pawn in an abduction ordeal that resulted in the deaths of two women and the kidnapping of two young girls.
Mayes fatally shot himself Thursday after a wide-scale manhunt by police.Video: Adam Mayes’ relative: He was ‘control freak’ (on this page)
Alexandria Bain, 12, and her sister, Kyliyah Bain, 8, were found alive by units of the Mississippi Highway Patrol in a wooded area nearby Mayes’ home in Union County, Miss. As police closed in, Mayes, 35, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Mayes is alleged to have killed the girls’ mother, Jo Ann Bain, and her eldest daughter, Adrienne, and buried them in the backyard of his mobile home. He may have believed the two younger girls were his biological children.
Josephine Tate is the mother of Mayes’ wife, Teresa, 30, who has been charged with especially aggravated kidnapping. Police claim she witnessed Adam kill Jo Ann Bain and her daughter in their home in Tennessee. She then allegedly helped transport the dead bodies and the two young girls to the Mayes’ home in Mississippi, where Adam reportedly buried them, according to the warrants for her arrest.Video: Tenn. murder-kidnap suspect dead, girls safe (on this page)
“My first reaction was thank God that the little girls were safe and alive and well,’’ Tate told TODAY Friday. “Then my second reaction was panic, scared for my daughter who was manipulated and brainwashed and coerced and physically abused over the last 11 years by Adam.’’
Mayes forced Teresa to become estranged from her family after marrying her, Tate said.3 more arrested after kidnapped girls found safe
“When she married Adam, he made her cut off all ties with all of her family,’’ Tate told Savannah Guthrie. “Adam would not even allow Theresa to attend her father’s funeral. Adam was a control freak, even at the age of 10 years old. Adam controlled his mom and dad. It was like he ruled the roost.’’
Neighbors of the Bain family said Mayes would tell people that he was the father of Alexandria and Kyliyah.
“Do I believe that they were his children?" Tate said. "No, they were not his children.’’
Tate said the charges against her daughter — and allegations she did not contact police after witnessing the murders — are difficult to accept.
“At the same time, I know that she was scared of Adam,’’ Tate said. “I know that she was coerced and manipulated and forced to do the things that she did.’’
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