32-year-old Earl Kinney, the boyfriend of the little girl's mother, is charged in connection with her death.
Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Shelley Lynch said Saturday morning authorities are searching a site in Pender County in addition to multiple sites in Onslow County on what is now being classified as a recovery effort for the remains of Mariah Woods.
He was charged with concealing of death, obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felon larceny and possession of stolen property.
"Due to evidence gathered during the course of the investigation, it is believed that Mariah is deceased", the sheriff's office said before the body was found.
"Just full of life bright little girl, kind of like my little daughter when she was that age".
Man charged in connection with the death of Mariah Woods faces judge
Meanwhile, in Jacksonville, the memorial for Mariah Woods grows and a community reaches out to one another. I called the aunt yesterday and they were in tears. People are traveling near and far, some leaving notes, others stuffed animals and balloons.
"It's impacting our children", Anna Rust, a fellow mom in the community, told WRAL at a prayer vigil for Mariah.
Kiera Ezel said, "I was sad for her....i wanted to bring her two gifts". She told police that she went to her room again Monday morning after 6 a.m., and she was gone. "We just have to hold onto our kids and watch over them". Caitlin Gallinger, who works as a model, said her hope was gone and that she was close to getting eye removal surgery.
Officials said 730 volunteers participated in a search for Mariah on Friday.
Mariah's parents are divorced, and her father, Alex Woods, said that while his daughter had been living with her mother, his week had been "like hell, like a nightmare". The Fayetteville police dive team recovered what they believe to be Mariah's remains from Shelter Creek in Pender County, Saturday evening.