3-year-old Mariah Woods from Jacksonville, North Carolina grabbed nationwide attention after she was reported missing by her mother at the end of November. Initially, authorities were led to believe that the young child was abducted from her bedroom in the middle of the night.
Mariah’s mother told police that she checked on the child, who had a walking disability, the night before her disappearance around 11:00 PM. Then her boyfriend checked on the child around midnight. The next morning when they woke up, she was gone.
An Amber Alert was immediately issued, with authorities hoping to find Mariah as quickly as possible. However, as the investigation continued, suspicions arose that the 3-year-old was deceased.
Early Saturday morning, December 2nd, authorities announced that an arrest was made in connection with the Mariah Woods investigation. The boyfriend of Mariah’s mother, Earl Kimery, was detained on Friday in relation to the child’s death. Shortly after, Mariah’s body was discovered in a nearby creek.
Kimrey is currently facing multiple charges including concealing of death, obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny, and possession of stolen property. Authorities have not officially stated if he is a murder suspect.
However, the arrest warrant revealed that he disposed of the child’s body knowing she died from “unnatural causes,” acting with “deceit and intent to fraud,” according to ABC News. It is unclear if Mariah’s mother knew about Kimrey's actions or had any involvement.
Kimrey made his first court appearance on Monday, December 4th. The court hearing was very brief; Kimrey will remain on a $1.1 million bond and his next court date is set for December 18th.
According to a previous video by Fox News, Kimrey has been arrested in the past on assault charges, threatening a government official, and being drunk and disorderly.
Watch a clip from Kimrey’s court hearing below:
There are still so many unanswered questions in this case, but an autopsy will soon reveal how the toddler died, hopefully leading to more information. Please continue to pray for Mariah Woods’ family.
In other recent news, Red Cross received a great amount of backlash from Christians after announcing their new policy.