Authorities have made an arrest in connection with the disappearance of 3-year-old Mariah Woods, the North Carolina girl who was reported missing this week from her Jacksonville home. Police have also announced that they believe the child is dead.
On Friday, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI arrested Earl Kimrey, 32, the sheriff’s office announced in a press release. Kimrey has been charged with concealing of death, obstruction of justice, 2nd degree burglary, felony larceny, and possession of stolen property. He is being held in the Onslow County Detention Center on a $1,010,000 bond. It is not known if Kimrey has entered a plea yet.
According to the arrest warrant obtained by PEOPLE, police allege that Kimrey removed Mariah’s body from the scene of her death and concealed her death and body. They also allege in the warrant that Mariah died from “unnatural causes.”
Kimrey is the live-in boyfriend of Mariah’s mother Kristy, who reported her daughter missing at about 6:45 a.m. Monday. She told officials she last saw the girl when she put her to bed at about 11:30 p.m. the night before.
“My last memory of her was feeding her and putting her to bed,” Kristy told local station Channel 12. “I told her I loved her and she loved me.”
Due to evidence gathered in the investigation, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said in their statement that they believe Mariah is deceased. “At this time, the location of Mariah is unknown,” they said. “The searches will now shift to a recovery process.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Mariah’s father Alex heard about the news of his daughter’s disappearance when he heard an AMBER Alert announced on the radio. He was shocked to hear his daughter’s name.
“It’s unreal. It’s a nightmare,” Alex told local TV station WCTI-12 on Tuesday. “You hear about this stuff all the time but you never think it’s going to happen to you or your kids.”
Alex added that he was suspicious of the circumstances around his daughter’s disappearance. “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?” he said. “Nobody heard anything? Four people in the house, two adults and two kids someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?”
Anyone with information about Mariah’s location or the case should contact Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at 910-455-3113 or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273.