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home : state news : e-state news July 20, 2018

12/2/2017 4:39:00 PM
Little Girl Presumed Dead; Mother's Boyfriend Charged
Photo Courtesy Onslow County Sheriff's Office
Photo Courtesy Onslow County Sheriff's Office

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

Police now say that missing three-year-old girl from Jacksonville, NC, is dead. The Onslow County Sheriff's Office and the FBI announced Saturday that an arrest has been made in connection with her disappearance. The search continues--as officers are now looking for the body of Mariah Woods.

Was she murdered? Authorities say they don't know and that finding her body is the only sure way to tell.

The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI have arrested 32-year-old Earl Kimrey, the live-in boyfriend of Mariah Woods’ mother, Kristy Woods, in connection with Mariah’s disappearance.

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Kimrey, 32, was taken into custody on Friday. He has been charged with concealing of death; obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property.

A warrant obtained said that Kimrey obstructed justice by "removing Mariah Woods' body from the scene of her death and did conceal Mariah Woods' death and body, knowing that Mariah Woods died from unnatural causes. The defendant acted with deceit and intent to fraud."

The warrant also said authorities believe that Kimrey "secretly disposed of the dead child's body."

Kimrey is being held in the Onslow County Jail under a $1,010,000 bond. Additional charges could be pending as the investigation continues.

The FBI said because of evidence gathered, it believes that Mariah is dead but no body has been recovered.

The search was expanded on Saturday to an additional area in nearby Pender County.

The search for Mariah entered a fifth day Friday after her disappearance Monday prompted an Amber Alert that has gained national attention.

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