(Reuters) – A 32-year-old man has been arrested and charged in North Carolina in connection with the disappearance of 3-year-old Mariah Woods who went missing from her bedroom five days ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Saturday.
Earl Kimrey was taken into custody on Friday in Onslow County, North Carolina, and charged with several crimes including concealing a death and obstruction of justice, the FBI said in a statement.
The girl is believed to be dead due to evidence gathered during the investigation, the FBI added.
“At this time, the location of Mariah is unknown,” the FBI said. “The searches will now shift to a recovery process.”
Kimrey, who is being held on a $1 million bond, is the live-in boyfriend of the girl’s mother Kristy Woods, local media reported.
Woods said she put her daughter to bed about 11 p.m. on Sunday, and said her boyfriend saw the girl about an hour later when the child got up and he had told her to go back to bed, WRAL, an NBC affiliate in Raliegh, North Carolina, reported.
The couple contacted the Onslow County sheriff’s office early the next morning to say the girl had disappeared, officials said.
A days-long search ensued with hundreds of police officers, military troops and volunteers searching the rural area around the family’s mobile home in Jacksonville.
Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; editing by Alexander Smith