Mother's boyfriend charged with murder in death of 3-year-old Mariah Woods

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The man accused of withholding information from law enforcement about a missing girl’s death has now been charged with her murder, according to the Onslow County Sheriff's Office. 

Adolphus Earl Kimrey II, 32, has been charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. He is currently being held without bond. 

Kimrey was initially charged on Dec. 2, 2017 with obstruction of justice, conceal an unattended death, possession of stolen goods, second-degree burglary, and larceny after breaking and entering. He has been in custody since that date under a $1,010,000 bond, police said. 

Related: Bond kept at $1M for man charged with hiding death of girl 

Over the past eight weeks members of the Sheriff’s Office, Onslow County District Attorney and other assisting agencies worked to complete the investigation in the death of Mariah Woods. The 3-year-old girl was reported missing from her home on the morning of November 27, 2017. Mariah was reported missing by her mother’s boyfriend, identified as Kimrey. 

It was reported that Mariah and her brothers were all put to bed by their mother, Kristy Woods on the prior evening and everything was fine. The following morning when the mother awoke, Mariah was missing. Kimrey provided a story that indicated that after the mother was asleep, Mariah had gotten up but was sent back to bed. Kimrey further explained to police that he left the home for a short period of time and left the door unlocked.

Once the report was received by the Sheriff’s Office, an intensive search was initiated. The search included numerous local, state and federal agencies. Members of the military and numerous citizen volunteers searched many miles of residential, woodland and farm land in an effort to find Mariah. Hundreds of tips and leads were followed by investigators with little results.

The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office collected more than 250 items of physical evidence during this investigation. Many of these items were submitted for additional forensic examination to the FBI Forensics Lab in Quantico, Virginia.

Leads developed during the investigation led detectives to the Holly Shelter Creek bridge in Pender County where a dive team recovered Mariah’s body on December 2, 2017.

Related: Body found in creek believed ot be missing 3-year-old 

An autopsy was conducted on December 4, 2017 and a preliminary cause of death was provided; however, additional chemical and toxicology testing was required. On January 22, 2018 those additional test results were received by the medical examiner. On Tuesday, January 23, members of the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division and the District Attorney’s Office were in consultation with the Medical Examiner’s Office to review these findings. The cause of death was determined to be chloroform toxicity.

Related: Onslow County DA confirms body found in Pender County is Mariah Woods 

Police said the mother of Mariah, Kristy Woods, has been cooperative with the investigation and continues to cooperate with the detectives as the investigation continues. These additional charges do not mean the investigation is concluded but will continue until all leads and information is thoroughly evaluated, police said. 

“The death of a child is always a sobering reminder of how fragile life is. When the community is so deeply affected by such a horrific crime it is sometimes difficult to not allow our emotions to influence the decisions that we make. However, the best way to honor Mariah is to ensure a fair and thorough investigation, which will lead to a successful prosecution. We must remember that through these moments, together, as a community we can ensure that justice will be delivered for Mariah. We sincerely thank the community for their patience and support through this entire investigation,” Sheriff Hans Miller said in a written statement, released on Wednesday.