VIDEO: Deputies believe missing 3-year-old girl is dead, mom's boyfriend arrested

WNCN - JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) - The live-in boyfriend of a North Carolina woman was arrested and charged in connection to the disappearance of her daughter, Mariah Woods, the FBI announced early Saturday.

Deputies took Earl Kimrey, 32, into custody Friday night, as the search continued for the woman's 3-year-old daughter.

He faces several charges, including concealing of death, obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny, and possession of stolen property.

Arrest warrants obtained by KRON4's sister station WNCN report Kimrey 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."

In the warrants, officials claim Kimrey "secretly disposed of the dead child's body."

Additionally, records say Kimrey broke into a home on High Hill Road and stole two dressers around the time of the toddler's disappearance.

He is being held at the Onslow County Detention Center on a $1 million bond and is due in court Monday at 8 a.m., according to these documents.

Deputies said more charges could be pending as the investigation continues.

Sheriff Hans Miller also added, at this point in the investigation, authorities believe Woods is dead and the search will now shift to a recovery process.

More than 700 people spent most of Friday searching for the little girl.

The toddler was reported missing on Nov. 27 by her mother, Kristy Woods.

Investigators say Woods told them she checked on her daughter Sunday around 11 p.m. and then woke up Monday to discover the girl was missing.

Family members said there was no sign of forced entry or anything wrong with the toddler's room. However, they said the back door was unlocked.

Immediately following her disappearance, Woods' mother made a public plea to help find her daughter.

"I'll do anything that I can, whatever you want," said Woods. "Just bring her home, please, safe and sound. She's my baby. She's my everything."

Investigators will hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m., Saturday about the arrest.

Anyone with information should contact Onslow County Sheriff's Office at 910-455-3113 or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273.

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