The search for a missing three-year-old girl from Jacksonville, North Carolina has intensified after an Amber Alert was issued on for her on Monday. Her name is Mariah Woods, and she's been missing since Sunday night.
Authorities are searching for Mariah, who was last seen after being put to bed by her mother. According to Time, the Amber Alert was soon issued by 6 a.m. the next day. The toddler referred to Mariah as a victim of a child abduction. The abductor is unknown.
Mariah is white, approximately 2'9" tall, and she weighs 30 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes.
A family friend, Melissa Hunter, told the network that the child's mother put Mariah to bed at their Dawson Cabin Road home. Later, around 9 or 10 p.m., she checked on the little girl. On Monday morning, the mother went in to check on her toddler and found her gone.
Hunter also said the toddler normally wears orthopedic braces on both feet. When she is not wearing them, she isn’t able to walk straight.
The FBI has now joined the hunt, as of Wednesday. Local law enforcement has swept the areas around Mariah's home, but now the search radius has greatly increased.
“[Officials are] working everything that can be worked to find this little girl,” Jacksonville Sheriff Hans Miller assured the public.
Mariah's mother Kristy Woods tearfully begged the public for their help as well, saying, "If anybody knows where she is at or any information, just please call the sheriff's department or notify anybody. She is very sweet loving girl."
Family friend Anne Edwards says she suspects the person who took Mariah was known by her, because "She's a sweet child, but she is shy with strangers, so she wouldn't just go with a stranger."
An earlier surveillance photo of a woman with a child Morehead City Walmart was thought to possibly be a picture of Mariah with her abductor. That photo has now been ruled out, according to the New York Daily News.
Anyone with information about the abduction is asked to call the Onslow County Sheriff at 910-455-3113. Please pray for this little girl and her family. In related news, authorities are also searching for a teenager from Florida who has been missing for days and may be headed with an older man toward New York or Canada.