(CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.) — The mother-in-law of suspected kidnapper and murderer Adam Mayes believes he killed a mother and daughter and then ran away with the woman’s two youngest daughters because he believed the girls were his own children.
Josie Tate, the mother of Mayes’ wife Teresa, told ABC News affiliate WTVC that her daughter and Mayes fought often over whether Mayes was actually the father of JoAnn Bain’s two youngest children.
Bain and her eldest daughter, Adrienne, were killed in their Tennessee home on April 27, and then taken with the two youngest daughters to Mayes’ home in Mississippi, according to police affidavits. Teresa and Mayes have both been charged with murder, but Mayes remains at large and on the run. The FBI has placed Mayes on its Top Ten Most Wanted fugitives list.
“The reasons they were arguing so much was because there were two little girls that he was absolutely obsessed with. He was claiming those two children were his,” Tate told WTVC.
Neighbors tell a similar story, that Mayes was a close family friend of the Bain family and told people that he was the father of the two youngest girls.
“He made us all think that was his kids,” Andrea Miller, a neighbor and friend of Adam Mayes, told WTVC.
FBI officials have said they believe Bain was preparing to move her family to Arizona at the end of the school year. The family had ties to Arizona, where the two older daughters were enrolled in school on and off between the years 2004 and 2009, according to the Tucson Citizen.
Police said at a press conference on Tuesday that the girls’ father, Mark Johnson, was grieving for JoAnn, his ex-wife, and Adrienne, but hopeful about bringing the other two girls home.
“We will hunt down Adam Mayes and rescue those two little girls,” said FBI Special Agent Aaron Ford at the press conference.
Police believe the two youngest daughters are still in Mayes’ custody and may be in extreme danger. The FBI has warned that Mayes may have changed his appearance and the appearances of the two girls since they were last seen.
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