Police in Jacksonville, North Carolina, have issued an Amber alert for the 3-year-old little girl who went missing sometime overnight Sunday into Monday while her mother and her boyfriend thought she was sleeping. The search is on for little Mariah Kay Woods in the area surrounding her home, and a nation-wide Amber alert that was issued for the child.
A tearful Kristy Woods made a plea for the return of her daughter via the news reporters who have gathered in front of their home for a press conference. It was 11 p.m. Sunday evening when Kristy last checked in on her daughter and she was sleeping, according to Syarcuse.com.
Around midnight, the mother's boyfriend said he checked on Mariah, and at that point in time, she was awake. He told her to go back asleep, and then he went to bed. The authorities were alerted at about 6 a.m. on Monday morning after the mom didn't find her in bed when she got up that morning.
The FBI is assisting local authorities in the search for the girl. The local sheriff's office, as well as the child's mother, believes Mariah was the victim of an abduction, but Mariah's biological father does not believe that is the case. Alex Woods hasn't seen his daughter since last year, but he found out that his daughter had gone missing via the Amber alert, which has gone out to local homes and businesses.Back in 2016, Woods and his partner were granted custody of Mariah and her two brothers temporarily while the mother of the three children was involved in a Child Protective Services investigation. Woods and his partner had the trio of siblings in their care for about a month.
Woods told the local news that he is not convinced his daughter was abducted.
He said to WCTI12, "Someone just walked right up in there, grabbed the 3-year-old out of the bed and she didn't cry, she didn't scream? Nobody heard anything? Four people in the house, two adults and two kids someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?"Anne Edwards, who is a close family friend, also shared Woods thoughts when it came to the possibility of Mariah being abducted. She described the 3-year-old as a "sweet child" but also very "shy." The girl would not leave the house with a stranger, she couldn't see her doing that with someone the child didn't know.
Mariah, who walks with the aid of leg braces, would have a hard time getting around without them. so wondering off on her own would be a task that would be hard to do for the 3-year-old. According to local ABC News, Woods states that he and his partner are hoping for the best, but as of right now, something doesn't feel right to the father of the missing girl. He stopped short of elaborating just what it is that doesn't feel right to him.
[Featured Image by BOB CHILD/AP Images]