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Missing North Carolina girl presumed dead, authorities say

03 December 2017

Authorities in North Carolina have arrested a man in connection with the disappearance of a young girl and said they are determined to find the child's body.

- The Onslow County Sheriff's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation made an arrest late Friday in connection to the disappearance of Mariah Kay Woods, 3, missing since Monday. Arrest warrants say Kimrey moved Mariah Woods' body from where she died, knowing her death was not natural. He is charged with concealing of death, obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property.

Earl Kimrey, 32, was taken into custody by sheriff's investigators Friday.

The agency is transitioning from search operations to recovery operations, officials said.

Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Shelley Lynch confirmed Kimrey lived with Mariah and her mother. She said her boyfriend saw the child at about midnight when she got up and he told her to go back to bed.

Records reportedly show that Kimrey broke into a home and stole two dressers around the time Woods disappeared, according to WNCN.

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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Miller said authorities will look at anything found and decide whether they need to look in another area.

Her disappearance prompted a widespread search, with law enforcement, the military and volunteers from the community looking for the child after her mother's plea for her safe return. The search for Mariah entered a fifth day Friday.

Searchers targeted a creek and a landfill in their effort to find a 3-year-old North Carolina girl missing since the start of the week. "We have got to bring her home", Miller said.

As the search for Mariah intensified, questions swirled about the story told by Mariah's caretakers.

The FBI said it has been sending "items of interest" to its lab in Quantico, Virginia, for priority testing in the case.

Earlier Saturday, officials said that the live-in boyfriend of Mariah Woods' mother was charged in connection with the case. They said no information is too small or insignificant when looking for the missing child.

Missing North Carolina girl presumed dead, authorities say