An Amber Alert has been issued after a 3-year-old North Carolina girl, Mariah Kay Woods, went missing from her bed in the middle of the night in Onslow County, according to multiple reports emerging in the local news media.
Mariah, who has been described as a shy and introverted girl who could not open up to strangers, disappeared after her mother, Kristy Woods, put her to bed late Sunday night. A teary-eyed Kristy begged citizens for any kind of information about her girl during a press conference.
"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."
Mariah's mother lives with her live-in boyfriend, and both of them have been questioned by the police and their vehicles have been searched, but nothing of note has been found. Jacksonville Sheriff Hans Miller said that officials were at a complete loss as to what happened to the girl and were turning to the public for any assistance on the matter. Along with local officials from the Sheriff's office, the FBI has now joined the search operations, according to ABC Tampa Bay.
"We don't know what happened. It's entirely premature to try to determine what happened," Sheriff Miller said.WSCOTV reported that four volunteer fire departments, along with the Onslow County Sherriff's Department and K-9 units, spent the entirety of Monday searching for Mariah in the wooded area surrounding her home but have failed to find any leads. The local sheriff is hoping that now that amber alert has been issued for the young girl, someone who might have seen the child may come forward to aid with the investigation.
Mariah's grandmother, Anne Edwards, said that she could not imagine that somebody could enter inside the house and take the little girl from her bed, especially considering that the 3-year-old had trouble walking and did not enjoy the company of people she wasn't familiar with. She appeared to rule out the possibility that the young girl would have walked out herself.
"I don't believe she would go out by herself, especially in the dark. She's a sweet child but she's shy with strangers. So, she wouldn't just go with a stranger," she said.
Family members described the young child as a white female who is 2 feet 9 inches tall and weighs around 30 pounds. She has brown hair and white eyes.
After the Amber Alert was issued for the missing girl, officials hope that a wider dissemination of Mariah Kay Woods' details will help them locate her whereabouts soon.
Anyone with any information about Mariah could reach out to the Onslow County Sheriff's Office at (910) 455-3113, or call 911.
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