JACKSONVILLE, NC (WCSC) - The Onslow County Sheriff announced Saturday evening that they have recovered what they believe are the remains of Mariah Woods.
Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller said the body of a 3-year-old girl has been found.
At a brief news conference Saturday night in Pender County, Miller said Mariah Woods' body was found Saturday at 5:30 p.m. by a Fayetteville dive team.
An email from the FBI after the news conference said Woods' body was recovered in Shelter Creek along Shaw Highway in Pender County.
"We believe we have found the body of Mariah Woods," Miller said. "We have notified the family."
The FBI said positive confirmation that the body is Woods will be made by the medical examiner's office.
The search for 3-year-old Mariah Woods expanded to Highway 53 and Shaw Highway in Pender County.
At a news conference on Saturday afternoon, FBI agents and area sheriff's departments confirmed that Woods has died and that Earl Kimrey was arrested in connection with the girl's death. Kimrey has not been charged with murder, however.
"It is with deep sadness that our investigation leads us to believe 3-year-old Mariah Woods is deceased," Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller said during the news conference. "It is the outcome we feared. ... Our work is not finished. We still want to bring her home. I wish we had a different outcome."
Kimrey was taken into custody late Friday on warrants issued in Onslow County. WITN reports Kimrey is the live-in boyfriend of Woods' mother. He's charged with concealing of death, obstruction of justice, second degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property. He is being held at the Onslow County Detention Center under a $1,010,000 bond.
An Amber Alert had been active since Sunday when Woods was last seen around 11 p.m.
The FBI and Onslow County Sheriff's Office are asking anyone with surveillance video taken Nov. 26-27 at homes, businesses or on game hunting cameras to call Onslow police at (910) 555-3113. Any footage could be useful, the FBI said in an email.
The arrest warrant for Kimrey indicates that he is accused of stealing two dressers from a home on High Hill Road around the time frame of Mariah's disappearance, between 11 p.m. Sunday and 3 a.m. Monday.
The warrant charging Kimrey with concealing of death and other charges states that he obstructed justice by "removing Mariah Woods body from the scene of her death and did conceal Mariah Woods death and body, knowing that Mariah Woods died from unnatural causes. The defendant acted with deceit and intent to fraud."
The warrant goes on to state that Kimrey "secretly disposed of the dead child's body." Records indicate he is due in court Monday at 8 a.m.
Federal criminal defense attorney Walter Paramore, who once represented Marine Cesar Laurean in a high profile murder trial, will be counsel for Kimrey for now. He met with his client Saturday morning. A search of Kimrey's prior criminal record includes a conviction for misdemeanor larceny in Brunswick County in 2015.
This is a developing story. Check back for details.