Mariah Woods, the three-year-old child who vanished in the middle of the night in her home, is still missing. On Nov. 29, the Federal and local agencies held a news conference as the search for the toddler enters its third day.
Her mysterious disappearance pushed the police to issue an Amber Alert after her parents failed to find her. The FBI also joined the search for Mariah Woods, but there is still no solid lead on where she might be and what happened to her.
However, there is a new development in the Amber Alert case, and the police are hoping that this will help them find Mariah or at least give them leads. On Wednesday morning, the authorities released photos of woman and child at a Walmart outlet in Morehead City.
The images were taken from the video surveillance camera in the store, and it appears that the child might be the missing girl. The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office is trying to determine if the toddler in the pictures is Mariah, USA Today reported.
Hours after releasing the photos and posting them on social media, the sheriff’s office was able to confirm that the girl was not Mariah Woods. WCTI News Channel 12 reported that 23-year-old Newport woman stepped forward and said that she is the person in the photos.
BREAKING: Photos released by officials of possible missing 3-year-old debunked by WCTI. More on NewsChannel 12 on air and on Facebook Live at 9 a.m. https://t.co/jGz104Qi9V— NewsChannel 12 (@wcti12) November 29, 2017
The woman, who was identified as Jetta Long, told WCTI‘s Aisha Mbowe that the girl she was carrying in the pictures is her own daughter. In her interview, Long said that she feels frustrated because being mistaken might have gotten the Wood family’s hopes up.
She added that she understands why the police may have thought that her daughter was Mariah Woods. The children have a striking resemblance with the same shade of hair, and Long’s daughter also has an issue with her limb as she was born with a shortened leg.
Mariah Woods wears a leg brace, so she wobbles while walking. The toddler’s family asserted that she would not be able to get that far due to her orthopedic leg problem if she only woke up in the middle of the night and walked out of the home.
Tommy Cloyd, a Disability Advocates & Resource Center coordinator, warned that Mariah should be found immediately because with her condition, being out in the cold and without any help is very dangerous.
Mariah Woods went missing on Monday, and she was last seen by her mother’s boyfriend on Sunday evening after tucking her into bed. The toddler’s grandmother came over to check on her the following morning, but she was not in her room.
Kristy Woods, Mariah’s mother, reported her disappearance to the police, but the investigators did not find any signs of forced entry into the Woods’ Jacksonville trailer home in North Carolina.
Anyone with information about the possible kidnapping or Mariah’s whereabouts should immediately call the Onslow County Sheriff at (910) 455-3113 or tips can be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES).
There will be a cash reward of up to $2,500 to anyone who can give valuable information regarding Mariah Wood’s Amber Alert case.