The disappearance of a Tennessee mom and her three girls is disturbing at many levels, but it's also a huge reminder--especially for Latino families--that, some times, even those we consider family can bring harm to us and our children. Police are currently conducting a massive manhunt for Adam Mayes after Jo Ann Bain and her three daughters disappeared from their home back on April 27. The Bain family considered Mayes a friend and was like an "uncle" to the girls and apparently "thought the world of" them, according to acquaintances.

Even so, police describe Mayes as armed and extremely dangerous. Although two bodies were found late last week at a house police have connected to Mayes have yet to be identified, I would be surprised if the two events are not connected. 

Details about the abduction and the investigation are sketchy, but apparently Mayes had been at the Bain's home the night before the disappearance. He was helping the family pack and load a U-Haul in preparation for their move from Tennessee to Arizona because of two of the girls' asthma. According to dad Gary Bain, he initially didn't realize his daughters were missing because he would get up after they left home for school. When his wife didn't answer his repeated phone calls throughout the day and the girls failed to show up after school, he called the police to report them missing.

I imagine that, at first, Gary Bain had no reason to suspect that Mayes was involved in the abduction of his family. After all, he considered him a friend and at some point they'd both been married to sisters. From Facebook pictures of Mayes with the girls, it seems he was comfortable enough letting his children be around him.

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Latinos are well-known to consider and treat friends "like" family. Growing up I remember calling my parents' friends tíos y tías even though they were not related to us at all. I'm know my parents would've never put their children in harm's way and neither would the Bain family. But news like should make you wonder whom you should be letting into your home and into your children's lives...

How much do you think you should really trust those who are not related to you, but you consider "like" family?

Images via Mississippi Department of Public Safety

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor for MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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Filed Under: child rearing
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MamiV...

As an inmigrant, who doesn't have real family in this country, I have to admit that my sons call my "closer friends" tíos and tías. And I don't have any problem with that. This guy is a  psico. In fact this couldn't change if he were a real uncle. The problem here is his mind

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