Amber Alert: Authorities continue search for missing North Carolina 3-year-old

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, officials provided little new information regarding the search for a missing 3-year-old girl in Jacksonville.

Mariah Woods is the subject of an Amber Alert after she was reported missing from her home on Dawson Cabin Road Monday.

In the conference, Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller said details of the investigation will remain confidential at this time, but he said they are accepting any tips from the community.

“Every second counts when a child is missing, especially after the cold night we just had,” Miller said. “A detailed timeline is crucial in helping us find this little girl.”

On Monday, crews spent all day searching the area and on Tuesday resumed their search with additional police units and assistance from the FBI.

The search is being conducted both by ground and by air with drones and helicopters.

Family members said Mariah has an orthopedic leg problem, so when she walks her left leg is thrown around and causes her to wobble.

Tommy Cloyd, an independent living coordinator with the Disability Advocates & Resource Center, said going that long without any help, especially in the cold, could prove dangerous.

“She wouldn’t have her support, her braces and things of that nature,” said Cloyd. “I think after 24 hours, it would kind of start to get to her. I don’t know if she takes medication of any kind, but I am sure by this point, she needs something.”

In a Facebook post, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said they have sufficient resources for continued searches but did ask callers to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 910-989-4070 with any information.

Woods has been described as a white female about 2 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing 30 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes.


Kristy Woods, Mariah’s mother, is pleading for her daughter to be returned safely.

“‘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.”

Woods said she woke up Monday morning and noticed her daughter was missing from her bedroom.

She says the last time she saw her daughter was around 11:00 p.m. Sunday when she went to check on her.

Family members said there was no sign of forced entry or anything wrong with Mariah’s room but did mention the back door was unlocked.

Once they realized Mariah was missing, Woods and her live-in boyfriend called authorities.

Mariah’s grandmother said due to her grandaughter’s walking issues, she can’t imagine her wandering off.

The family also said Mariah would not have left with a stranger.

The Sheriff’s Office checked with Mariah’s biological father but said he does not have the girl.

The girl’s two older brothers were in the house when Maria disappeared.

They made it to school safely.

Mariah’s mother describes her as their “little angel,” with a goofy, outgoing and talkative personality.”

Stick with WNCT online and on air as we bring you the latest developments on this story.


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