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

At 2.30am WCTI12.com announced that Earl Kimrey had been taken into custody and charged for concealing a death and the obstruction of justice.

The live-in boyfriend of Mariah Woods' mother has been arrested in connection to the disappearance of the 3-year-old - and police believe the child is dead.

32-year old Earl Kimrey, the boyfriend of the child's mother, has been arrested and charged with concealing death, obstruction of justice, and other charges.

The Jacksonville, N.C., girl went missing late Saturday, prompting her father, Alex Woods, to question his ex-wife's statement about the girl's whereabouts.

Kimrey is being held on more than $1 million bond.

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.

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Due to evidence gathered during the course of the investigation, the Sheriff's Office said it believes Mariah is deceased. On Friday morning, the search for 3-year-old Mariah intensified with a renewed effort that included hundreds of volunteers.

Earlier on Friday FBI forensic teams were testing "items of interest" in their desperate search for Mariah. The search for Mariah entered a fifth day Friday. "This is my angel", the mother said. Family members said Kimrey lived in the home with Mariah and her mother; photos on Facebook show the pair together with Mariah. Authorities searching for the missing toddler are asking residents to comb through their properties for anything "out of the ordinary" in the hope that someone will come forward with information that leads them to the little girl.

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

'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? "Nobody heard anything? Four people in the house, two adults and two kids, someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?"

The FBI, which was also at the news conference, said that two areas in Pender County were now part of the focus of the search. "Just bring her home, please, safe and sound". The missing child's case has shifted to a homicide case.


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