3-year-old Mariah Woods was sexually abused by mom’s boyfriend, court documents allege


RALEIGH, NC (News and Observer) - FBI investigators recovered remains believed to be those of 3-year-old Mariah Woods on Saturday, and her mother's boyfriend has been charged in connection with her death. Now court documents allege that the boyfriend, Earl Kimrey, sexually abused the girl.

The remains were found nearly a week after Mariah disappeared from her Jacksonville home.

Kimrey, 32, the live-in boyfriend of missing 3-year-old Mariah's mother, Kristy Woods, was arrested Dec. 1 in connection with her death and charged with concealing a death, obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property, according to arrest records. He appeared in court Monday, where his bond was upheld at $1.01 million.

Related: Man arrested in connection to toddler's death wears bulletproof vest during first court appearance

So far, no one has been charged with killing Mariah.

In the court documents, Mariah's biological father, Alex Woods, outlined the reasons he is pursuing custody of Mariah's two brothers, who are also his sons, according to multiple reports and first reported by The Jacksonville Daily News.

Woods alleges that Kimrey sexually abused Mariah and physically abused the two boys, hitting them with a belt – one of them in the face, causing a nosebleed.

One of the brothers said their mother knew that Kimrey allegedly was sexually abusing Mariah, according to the documents, which say she "failed to protect juveniles from exposure to sexual abuse."

Officials have not said what led them to arrest Kimrey, or what evidence suggested that Mariah was no longer alive.

Kimrey is being held in the Onslow County Detention Center. He made his first court appearance Monday morning.

State arrest records show that Kimrey previously had been charged with larceny, assault, and drunk and disorderly conduct. Kimrey is originally from Mebane, his Facebook page says. He attended Orange County High School in Hillsborough and Alamance Community College, according to the Facebook page.

The Fayetteville Police Department dive team discovered the remains on Dec. 2, and they were sent to the state medical examiner for positive identification. No such identification had been announced as of Tuesday afternoon.

Mariah was presumed dead based on evidence gathered throughout the weeklong investigation into her disappearance, according to the Onslow County Sheriff's Office. In a news conference on Saturday, FBI officials called the search for Mariah "a homicide investigation."

Mariah allegedly was abducted from a home in the 2400 block of Dawson Cabin Road in Jacksonville, according to an Amber Alert issued Monday, Nov. 27. She was last seen alive when her mother put her to bed about 11 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, according to the Charlotte Division of the FBI.

More than 225 members of 14 local, state and federal agencies have conducted nearly 100 interviews in the case and followed more than 140 leads. Among them are the FBI's Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team and Team Adam from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Officials said 730 volunteers participated in a search for Mariah on Friday. The search expanded from Onslow to Pender County after Kimrey was arrested. Investigators also sorted through 95,000 pounds of trash by hand, searching for items of interest, the sheriff's office said.

Several items of interest were sent to FBI experts in Quantico, Va., for testing shortly before Kimrey was arrested and the remains were found.