Missing 3-Year-Old North Carolina Girl Believed Dead; Mother's Boyfriend Arrested


The Onslow County Sheriff's Office has arrested a man in connection to the disappearance of 3-year-old Mariah Woods.

Earl Kimrey, 32, was taken into custody Friday as authorities gathered evidence leading them to believe Mariah Woods is dead, KTLA sister station WGHP reported. He is charged with concealing of death, obstruction, second-degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property.

Investigators think the girl is dead, but they have not found her body, the sheriff's office said in a statement that did not say how authorities think the girl was killed.

"It is with deep sadness that I tell you our investigation leads us to believe 3-year-old Mariah Woods is deceased", Miller added.

She claimed he saw her at 1am and told her to go back to bed.

The agency is transitioning from search operations to recovery operations, officials said. He was being held in the Onslow County Detention Center under a $1 million bond, a news release stated. ABC News reports that her mother reached out to the public in an emotion-filled plea Monday.

It has been five days since the little girl vanished from her home in the dead of night.

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The statement did not indicate whether Kimrey had a lawyer or if anyone else could also be charged.

The FBI says more than 700 people came to join in the search for a missing North Carolina child.

"We had a total of 730 volunteers help us today", Miller said.

The FBI said it has been sending "items of interest" to its lab in Quantico, Virginia, for priority testing in the case. Dive teams have been searching Southwest Creek in Onslow County, Meador said, which is about 3 miles away from where the family lives.

"Someone just walked right up in there, grabbed the 3-year-old out of the bed and she didn't cry, she didn't scream?" Marines based at nearby Camp Lejeune are also assisting in the search.

At a Thursday press conference, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said that "items of interest" were taken to Quantico for testing that could "lead us to Mariah", but did not elaborate on what the items were, or where they were located.