(Reuters) - Child trauma specialists are helping investigators interview two girls about being seized by a man who authorities say killed their mother and sister and held them captive for more than a week in thick Mississippi woods.
FBI spokesman Joel Siskovic said on Saturday the specialists were advising the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the investigation into the bizarre abduction of Alexandria Bain, 12, and her sister Kyliyah, 8.
Investigators believe their captor, Adam Mayes, 35, murdered their mother, Jo Ann Bain, 31, and sister Adrienne, 14, in a rural Tennessee town on April 27. He then abducted the two girls and fled with them to Mississippi.
Mayes committed suicide on Thursday night after authorities spotted him and the girls lying face down in a dense forest and told them to get up.
Warren Strain, public affairs director with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, said agents yelled, "show your hands" and Alexandria popped her head up. They yelled "show your hands" again and Kyliyah popped her head up.
Then they yelled it a third time and Mayes raised himself to his knees and searchers noticed his gun.
"At that point, they got their weapons up and on him and commanded him to put down the gun, which he didn't do. He didn't comply, but immediately he raised the gun and used it, committed suicide," Strain said on Saturday.
Mayes said nothing before shooting himself in the head. He later died at Baptist Hospital in nearby New Albany, Mississippi.
"They (the girls) seemed to be relieved. One of the girls was heard saying, 'Now we can go home,'" Strain said.
The girls spent the night at a hospital in Memphis, and were turned over to family on Friday morning. They were with their father, Gary Bain, on Saturday at their home in Whiteville, Tennessee.
"Their home is not a crime scene - it is their home and the girls are with him," said Kristin Helm, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Investigators believe the girls had been out in the woods since April 30 or May 1.
The area where they were held in Mississippi is remote, heavily wooded and a prime hunting ground. Strain said searchers "could have almost walked right by them and not see them, it's so dense out there."
"It had been raining, it was just miserable conditions. They had no shelter. They had bug bites and rashes from poison ivy and poison oak ... . To my knowledge, they had no change of clothes, they had no shelter. Basically, they were just hiding out."
Mayes had brought a backpack of food and water, but supplies ran out about three days before they were rescued. Alexandria and Kyliyah told agents that they had not had anything to eat or drink in three days.
Agents immediately shared with them the water and snacks they were carrying with them.
Reporting By Greg McCune; Editing by Xavier Briand