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FBI: Body of 3-year-old Mariah Woods found in Pender County

The search for missing 3-year-old Mariah Woods of Onslow County continues into its fifth day. (Photo credit: Mariah Woods Family)

The body of 3-year-old Mariah Woods has been found in Pender County, according to the FBI.

The FBI said in a press release Saturday at 6:03 p.m. ET that it would hold a press conference at the intersection of Hwy. 53 and Shaw Highway in Pender County at 6:45 p.m. That was one location law enforcement, the FBI and dive teams had been searching Saturday.

At the press conference, the terrible news was finally made public, ending a six-day ordeal that began when the three-year-old was reported missing Monday morning.

Officials said Woods’ body was found in the water around 5:30 p.m. in a remote area where the search was being conducted. Woods’ body was found by a member of the Fayetteville Remote Dive Team. An autopsy by the medical examiner's office will be conducted to verify for sure it's the body of Woods.

Further information was not provided as the FBI and Onslow County Sheriff's Office continue their investigation.

Around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, the FBI issued a statement saying Earl Kimrey, 32, was taken into custody by investigators at the Onslow County Sheriff's Office on Friday. Kimrey is the live-in boyfriend of Mariah Woods' mother, Kristy Woods.

Kimrey was taken before a state magistrate and charged with:

  • Concealing of Death
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Second Degree Burglary
  • Felony Larceny
  • Possession of Stolen Property

According to a press release from the FBI, Kimrey is currently being held in the Onslow County Detention Center under a $1,010,000 bond. District Attorney Ernie Lee has been consulted on the current charges and additional charges could be pending as the investigation continues.

Woods was reported missing at 6:45 a.m. Monday morning, Sheriff Hans Miller confirmed. Miller said that he had put out an Amber Alert request and a reverse 911 call within a five-mile limit of the area to let locals know what they are doing. The search quickly extended from there and the FBI was eventually called in to assist in the search.

Miller said officials are "working everything that can be worked to find this little girl." He said a full description of Mariah would be available as soon as the Amber Alert is made official.

Earlier on Saturday, the FBI and Onslow County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference where they asked for the public’s help while also saying the search was expanding to an area in Pender County.

“We are focused on two areas of interest along Highway 17 near the Southwest Creek Bridge and Highway 53 and the Shaw Highway area in Pender County,” the FBI said in a press release from media spokesperson Shelley Lynch. “If you have surveillance video taken Sunday, November 26 through Monday, November 27, 2017, from your home, business, or game hunting cameras, please call the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 555-3113. We would be interested to view any footage to determine whether it has any investigative value. “

The search has been expanded to that two areas along Hwy. 17 near the Southwest Creek Bridge and Hwy. 53 and the Shaw Highway area in Pender County. Police the FBI and other law enforcement involved, including dive teams, have been at the site for most of Saturday.

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