New Details About The Murder Of 3-Year-Old Mariah Woods —​ And Why Her Mother's Boyfriend Has Been Arrested

Her body was found in a creek.

Body of missing NC girl found, Earl Kimrey arrested for concealing her death WCTI 

The body of Mariah Woods, the 3-year-old missing girl from North Carolina was found right after her mother’s boyfriend was arrested for hiding her remains. 

According to Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller, the body of the toddler was found in a creek about 25 miles from her home by dive teams Saturday around 5:30 p.m.


“Very saddened to report to you that we have recovered what we believe are the remains of little Mariah Woods,” said Miller. “We were all hoping for a better outcome. We have made appropriate notifications to the family.”

The medical examiner still needs to confirm it is the body of Mariah Woods, but FBI spokesperson Shelley Lynch said investigators are confident it is her. But according to the FBI, the creek was not the place Mariah died.

Earl Kimrey, Mariah’s mother’s live-in boyfriend, was arrested Friday for covering up the girl’s death and hiding her body.


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“It was too late to save Mariah the moment the 911 call came in,” FBI agent Stanley Meador said, talking about the call her mother made to report Mariah was missing. “The arrest warrants are public record and the records speaks for themselves. We will not discuss any details related to the homicide investigation.”

Mariah’s mother, Kristy Hunter, and her boyfriend Kimrey left law enforcement suspicious after claiming the toddler was abducted from their home.



Mariah Woods was reported missing by her mother Nov. 27 and an all-out search for the little girl began, including an Amber Alert. The toddler's father, however, didn't believe Hunter’s claim that she was taken from the home.

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?” the girl’s dad, Alex Woods, asked while talking to WCTI News Channel 12. “Nobody heard anything? Four people in the house, two adults and two kids someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?”

Investigators and law enforcement spent five days searching a five-mile radius around Mariah’s house before expanding the search perimeters to Highway 53 and Highway 17 in Pender County. The public was asked to aide in the search for the missing girl.

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“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,” said Lynch in a press release. “We would be interested to view any footage to determine whether it has any investigative value."

Along with being charged with concealing Mariah’s death, Kimrey is facing charges of obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property. He has had a criminal history since 2005.


Kimrey went in front of a judge with a lawyer right beside him Monday morning to face the charges. He's scheduled to appear in court again December 18. “This investigation continues,” said Ernie Lee, district attorney for district 4. “I will be awaiting the results from the medical examiner’s report and making some decisions at that time.”

Kimrey’s bail is set to $1,010,000 while he is being held at the Onslow County Detention Center.

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