Mom's boyfriend arrested in missing Jacksonville toddler case

Earl Kimrey 32 was taken into custody by investigators in the disappearance of 3-year-old Mariah Woods

She was last seen in her Jacksonville home late Sunday night.

Officials have arrested the live-in boyfriend of Kristy Woods, the mother of missing 3-year-old Mariah Woods, in connection with what is now believed to be the death of the child. He is charged with concealing of death, obstruction, second-degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property.

Arrest warrants say a man took the body of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter from where she died, knowing her death was not natural.

The statement did not indicate whether Kimrey had a lawyer or if anyone else could also be charged.

An arrest has been made in connection with the disappearance of 3-year-old Mariah Woods.

"It is believed that Mariah is deceased", the Onslow County Sheriff's Office said in a statement, even as what happened to Mariah Woods after her mother tucked her into bed almost a week ago remains a mystery.

Saturday afternoon, officials said they were still searching for Mariah Woods, but believed she was dead. Authorities are searching for her body.

Hundreds have since joined the search for the little girl.

The FBI said in a statement on Friday that the search for Mariah Woods took deputies from the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office to a local creek, where they used sonar.

As the search for Mariah intensified, questions swirled about the story told by Mariah's caretakers.

Lynch said agents also sent what was described as "items of interest" to their lab at Quantico, Virginia, for testing. Among them are the FBI's Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team and Team Adam from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

At some point in the five hours between then, she said someone abducted the child - who has a walking impediment - from her bedroom.

Officials were hoping to wrap up the day's efforts by 4:30 get volunteers back to their cars before sunset. She told police that she went to her room again Monday morning after 6 a.m., and she was gone.

"The focus of this investigation has changed from a missing child to homicide case", Meador added.

Photos of Mariah Kay Woods.