A woman and her three young daughters who authorities say were abducted from Tennessee had recently moved to Arizona because two of the girls had asthma, a family friend said Sunday.
Linda Kirkland, a cook at the Country Cafe in Whiteville, Tenn., said that Jo Ann Bain, her husband and three daughters had been back in the Whiteville area to take care of some business after a death in the family. Asthma sufferers have long flocked to Arizona believing that the dry, warm climate might ease the condition.
Bain had frequented the restaurant and never indicated that anything was wrong.
"She seemed so happy," Kirkland said.
"Jo Ann and the kids, everyone loves them. We're just hoping to hear that they're safe."
Bain's daughters are Adrienne, 14; Alexandria, 12; and Kyliyah, 8. Authorities say they are believed to have been abducted by Adam Mayes, 35, who is charged with kidnapping in Tennessee.
The FBI has said two bodies were found at a home connected to Mayes in Mississippi, but agents have released few other details. Authorities were working Sunday to identify the bodies, which were found late Friday night or early Saturday morning, said FBI spokesman Joel Siskovic. He would not say whether they were children.
The Bains were last seen April 27 in Hardeman County, Tenn., about 70 miles east of Memphis. The woman's husband reported her missing, and her vehicle was found abandoned.
Sunday, agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation searched the garage and backyard at the Bain family home.
Mayes was last seen Tuesday in Guntown, Miss., about 80 miles southeast of Hardeman County, Tenn. He had been described as a family friend.
The FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service announced Saturday a reward of up to $50,000 for information that leads to the location of the missing victims and the arrest of Mayes.
Siskovic said the bodies were found in a residence, but it wasn't clear whether it was a house, mobile home or apartment. He also wasn't sure whether the residence belonged to Mayes or an acquaintance. Siskovic said the bodies were found in Guntown.
Authorities talked with Mayes early in the investigation, Siscovic said, but he fled when they tried to contact him again. The FBI says agents were not immediately aware of Mayes having a criminal record.
Authorities had said that Mayes could be in Mississippi but that he has ties to Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
Anyone with information is asked to call (601) 987-1353 or (800) TBI-FIND.