Arrest made after missing North Carolina girl presumed dead

Joy Montgomery
December 3, 2017

Earl Kimrey of Jacksonville was arrested late Friday and was being held at the Onslow County Detention Center on a $1 million bond in the disappearance of 3-year-old Mariah Woods, deputies said.

The arrest warrant issued for Kimrey said he obstructed justice by "removing Mariah Woods' body from the scene of her death and did hide Mariah Woods' death and body, knowing that Mariah Woods died from unnatural causes".

Kimrey faces several charges, including concealing of death, obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny, and possession of stolen property.

Kimrey was taken into custody at the Onslow County Sheriff's Office on Friday.

She called the sheriff's office around 6 a.m. Monday to report her missing, and an Amber Alert was issued that day.

Kimrey lived with Mariah and her mother in Jacksonville.

Her mom says Mariah woke up in the middle of the night and her boyfriend told her to go back to sleep. Deputies say her body has not been found.

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Kristy, who this week disabled her Facebook account after posting the missing person's appeal for her daughter, claimed that Mariah was taken by a stranger.

In the warrants, officials claim Kimrey "secretly disposed of the dead child's body".

The search was organized in connection with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

In a news release Saturday, the sheriff's office also stated that it believes the toddler is dead.

Officials said 730 volunteers participated in a search for Mariah on Friday. Meador said they also sifted through roughly 95,000 pounds of trash by hand for evidence, and some "items of interest" were sent to the Marine Corps Base at Quantico for testing.

Deputies said more charges could be pending. "Four people in the house, two adults and two kids, someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?" Authorities said they have been using all means necessary to find Mariah including ground searches assist by a helicopter and K9 units - so far, officials have covered 100 acres. The missing child's case has shifted to a homicide case.

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