NC Police: Missing three-year-old girl is believed to be dead

Earl Kimrey, 32, was taken into custody Friday, investigators say.

Officials have arrested the live-in boyfriend of Kristy Woods, the mother of missing 3-year-old Mariah Woods, in connection with what is now believed to be the death of the child.

According to search warrants obtained by the Jacksonville Daily News, Kimrey is accused of "removing Mariah Woods body from the scene of the her death, and did hide Mariah Woods death and body".

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

The 32-year-old man was taken before a state magistrate and charged with concealing of death, Obstruction of Justice, Second Degree Burglary, Felony Larceny and Possession of Stolen Property. Kimrey is being held on a $1,010,000 bond.

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Mariah's family has been cooperating with investigators and additional charges could be filed in the case, authorities said.

Saturday afternoon, officials said they were still searching for Mariah Woods, but believed she was dead.

The search was organized in connection with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

In all, 730 volunteers joined law enforcement personnel in the search on Friday. "This is my world, this is my angel", she said. Meador said they also sifted through roughly 95,000 pounds of trash by hand for evidence, and some "items of interest" were sent to the Marine Corps Base at Quantico for testing.

Her mom says Mariah woke up in the middle of the night and her boyfriend told her to go back to sleep.

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'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? Earlier Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released surveillance photos of a woman and a little girl who matched Mariah's description, in hopes of identifying the pair. "Four people in the house, two adults and two kids, someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?"

Also, FBI agents searched a landfill.

Residents were moved to action following Woods' public appeals for help in the search for her "very sweet, loving girl" with blue eyes and long brown hair. "She's my baby. She's my everything".

"The focus of this investigation has changed from a missing child to homicide case", Meador added.

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