Alert: Search For Missing 3-Year-Old On It’s Second Day

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3-year-old Mariah Kay Woods was reported missing shortly after 6 am on Monday morning and federal, local and military law enforcement officials are all involved in the search for her.

Onslow County 911 Emergency Services received a call of a missing girl from Mariah’s mother, Christine Woods on Monday. Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller and his command staff were on the scene continuously Monday morning and afternoon.

Family, friends and the family’s spiritual advisor were all at the scene at an ad hoc command center on Dawson Cabin Road throughout the day on Monday. “We’re out here to support the family,” Ronalds Edwards, pastor of the Church of Christ in Jacksonville. The Woods family are part of his congregation he says.

Edwards’ wife Anne, who also spent the day consoling the Woods family said “We knew Christine since she was a little girl and have known Mariah her entire life. Little Mariah is shy with strangers and would talk to you if she knew you. She was a momma’s girl.”

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According to Anne Edwards, Mariah has ambulatory issues with her leg causing her to frequently stumble after taking a few steps and she has been driving Mariah to doctor’s offices in Chapel Hill. She said, “She has a distinct walk whereby she swings out her left leg as she strides forward.”

An Amber Alert was issued regarding her disappearance describing Mariah as a white girl with brown hair and blue eyes. She is roughly 2-feet-9-inches in height and weighs around 30 pounds.

Sheriff Miller said, “We have personnel from the FBI, United States Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Camp Lejeune Provost Marshal Office and the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office here at the scene and we’re getting assistance from New Hanover, Brunswick and Wayne counties sheriff’s offices.”


Shelley Lynch, a Public Affairs Officer with the FBI told The Daily News that it was “standard practice for the FBI to assist in the case of a missing child.”

The civilian helicopter was brought in from New Hanover and Brunswick counties and tracking dogs were brought in from Wayne County and Camp Lejeune to assist in the search for the missing girl. Adding to the heavy military and police presence, first responders and volunteer firefighters have provided manpower, equipment and knowledge to the heavily wooded area bordering the homestead.

Residents and neighbors alike have been advised to “search their backyards and their own neighborhoods. If they see something suspicious such as an article of clothing they should call 911 and remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives,” according to Miller.

Mariah was last seen in her bed on Sunday night and her mother found her missing on Monday morning. Christine Woods has pleaded with anyone who knows something to come forward. During a press conference in Jacksonville, North Carolina she said “Please, bring her back. She’s my baby, she’s my everything. Just to be able to touch her and hold her and not let her go again. I’d give anything.”

The search for 3-year-old Mariah is ongoing and the sheriff’s office has announced an award of $2,500 for information leading to her safe return.


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