Three-year-old Mariah Kay Woods vanished from her Jacksonville, NC home in the early morning hours of Monday, Nov. 27 and authorities have been actively searching for the little girl.
The sheriff's office said crews spent all day searching the area of Dawson Cabin Road in Jacksonville for Mariah Woods on Monday. The girl's home is in the southeastern part of the state, just west of Jacksonville and Marine Corps Air Station New River. Mariah was last seen by her mother's boyfriend late Sunday night and was reported missing Monday morning. Once they realized she was missing, the couple said they called authorities. Base officials say almost 100 Marines from various units across Camp Lejeune and New River are helping search for the missing girl. Her mother, Kristy Woods, believed her daughter was abducted from their home after 11 p.m.
Wednesday, 10 a.m. - The sheriff's office says the photos released are not of Woods. Long also revealed that her daughter was born with a shortened leg, so she said she understood how her little girl could have been mistaken for the missing toddler. She said her boyfriend saw Mariah around midnight when she got up and he told her to go back to bed. "Just bring her home please safe and sound".
Pastor Cliff Wilson says, "We wanted to give a positive influence to the family tonight". Officials have combed through hundreds of acres by foot, air and with K-9 units, Sheriff Miller said.
WRAL in North Carolina said law enforcement leaders confirmed the photos did not show Mariah. "Call somebody, tell you found her. Return my baby girl, you know, please", Alex Woods pleaded.
In addition to the prayers Wednesday night, the Onslow County Sheriffs Office, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, made a statement asking for assistance from citizens. 225 investigators and agents from 14 local, state and federal agencies have conducted almost 100 interviews and followed more than 140 leads, he said.
Sheriff Miller said that this was a "focused" incident and there is no danger to the public. They're requesting people aid in the search for Mariah by simply checking their properties.
Investigators want to talk with "anyone who has had contact with the family" since Sunday, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Stanley Meador said at a Tuesday news conference.
He wouldn't address whether anyone in the family was suspected in the disappearance.
Several agencies are working together in an effort to bring Mariah home.
Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES).
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