MSN.com reports that Earl Kimrey, 32, has been charged with murder after his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter, Mariah Kay Woods, went missing from their home last week. Formal charges include concealing a death, obstruction of justice, felony larceny, possession of stolen property and second-degree burglary.
Mariah’s remains were found last weekend in Shelter Creek in Pender County, North Carolina. Kimrey had his first court appearance today and is being held on a $1.01 million bond, says MSN.com.
Officials have yet to release information about why they charged Kimrey or how they knew Mariah wasn’t alive. After a week of searching, the missing person investigation became a homicide investigation.
MSN states that Kimrey has been charged in the past with assault, larceny and drunk and disorderly conduct. His arrest warrant alleges he removed Mariah’s remains from the crimescene and concealed her body.
Mariah was first reported missing after she was presumed to be abducted from the home she shared with Kimrey and her mother, Kristy Woods. An Amber Alert was issued in response, and Kristy claimed the last she saw her was at 11 p.m. when she put her to bed.
Mariah’s biological father, who was in the midst of a custody battle with Kristy, has criticized her story regarding the disappearance. He did not believe her version that someone walked into the house, took Mariah and no one heard anything.
The search for the missing toddler was greatly aided by Team Adam, a service providing assistance to families and law enforcement when children go missing. Team Adam is a part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Equine teams, dogs and boats were all used in the search for little Mariah. The entirety of Onslow County was included in the search, says ABCNews.com. Dive teams found her remains after working as far as Southwest Creek, about 3 miles from the home where she went missing.
*Photo credit Onslow County Sheriff’s Office