The Onslow County Sheriff's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have arrested a man in connection with the disappearance of 3-year-old Mariah Woods.
Earl Kimrey, 32, was taken into custody Friday as authorities gathered evidence leading them to believe Mariah Woods is dead, KTLA sister station WGHP reported.
The Onslow County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that Kimrey, of Jacksonville, North Carolina, was arrested late Friday on charges that include concealing a death and obstruction of justice.
The girl's mother made tearful pleas for her daughter in the days after she disappeared sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning. She was last seen when her mother put her to bed around 11 p.m. Sunday, according to the Charlotte Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"The searches will now shift to a recovery process", deputies said of the more than 700 volunteers that poured into the county along the North Carolina coast about 120 miles (193 kilometers) southeast of Raleigh, searching woods, outbuildings and anyplace else for the girl. He is being held in the Onslow County Detention Center under a $1.01 million bond. Deputies did not release any details on how she may have died.
Kristy, who this week disabled her Facebook account after posting the missing person's appeal for her daughter, claimed that Mariah was taken by a stranger. She says Kimery, saw the child later that night.
The statement did not indicate whether Kimrey had a lawyer or if anyone else could also be charged.
Earlier on Friday FBI forensic teams were testing "items of interest" in their desperate search for Mariah.
Also, FBI agents searched a landfill.
The sheriff said Wilmington Police Department officers and e New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies were searching on horseback, and boats from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries were in on the search.
"The focus of this investigation has changed from a missing child to homicide case", Meador added.
Earl Kimrey, 32, charged in connection with the disappearance of Mariah WoodsSaturday.