Disappearance of NC 3-year-old shifted to homicide case, officials say

Faith Castro
December 3, 2017

Though Mariah has not been found, officials say evidence gathered during the investigation indicates she may be dead.

A 32-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of 3-year-old Mariah Woods, who is believed to be dead, North Carolina authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced early Saturday.

The warrant released Saturday on a charge of concealing a death against 32-year-old Earl Kimrey did not say how investigators think she died.

Authorities have been searching for Mariah, who was reported missing from her home on Monday. Kimrey was taken before a state magistrate and charged with: Concealing of death; obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property.

He was being held in the Onslow County Detention Center with bail set at $1,010,000.

The district attorney said additional charges could be pending.

Hundreds of volunteers have come to eastern North Carolina to look for the girl. The search for Mariah entered a fifth day Friday.

The girl is shy and has an orthopedic leg problem, her grandmother said, according to CBS News. She was last seen in her Jacksonville home late Sunday night.

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They were sent straight to the FBI's base in Quantico, Virginia, for testing on Wednesday afternoon.

Searchers targeted a creek and a landfill in their effort to find a 3-year-old North Carolina girl missing since the start of the week.

The statement says investigators think the girl is dead, but didn't say how she might have been killed.

Kimrey allegedly "failed to notify a law enforcement authority of the death of Mariah Woods, and secretly disposed of the dead child's body", according to the warrant.

'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? "Four people in the house, two adults and two kids, someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?"

In a tearful television appearance on Tuesday, she said: 'Please, bring her back. She has been missing from her home since Monday.

Residents were moved to action following Woods' public appeals for help in the search for her "very sweet, loving girl" with blue eyes and long brown hair.

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