Crime

Mom’s boyfriend charged with murder of 3-year-old Mariah Woods: Cause of death revealed

Volunteers line up to search for missing Mariah Woods in 2017

Video from a NC Highway Patrol helicopter show volunteers lining up to search a wooded area near Southwest Creek for Mariah Kay Woods, a 3-year-old Jacksonville, NC girl who went missing Nov. 27, 2017.
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Video from a NC Highway Patrol helicopter show volunteers lining up to search a wooded area near Southwest Creek for Mariah Kay Woods, a 3-year-old Jacksonville, NC girl who went missing Nov. 27, 2017.

The boyfriend of Mariah Woods’ mother was charged Wednesday with murder and felony child abuse in the 3-year-old’s death, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said.

Adolphus Earl Kimrey II, 32, reported Mariah missing on Nov. 27. A dive team found Mariah’s body Dec. 2 in a creek in Pender County.

Kimrey was charged that day with obstruction of justice, concealing a death, possession of stolen goods, second-degree burglary and larceny after breaking or entering, and he has been in custody since then as the investigation continued.

On Wednesday, Kimrey was charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury or death.

Adolphus_Earl_Kimrey_II
Adolphus Earl Kimrey II Onslow County Sheriff’s Office

He appeared in Onslow County District Court at 2 p.m. Wednesday to hear the new charges.

An autopsy at East Carolina University determined Monday that chloroform toxicity caused Mariah’s death, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

The sheriff’s office also said, in announcing the murder charge, that the case is not closed.

The investigation “will continue until all leads and information is (sic) thoroughly evaluated,” the office said.

A dive team recovered Mariah’s body under Holly Shelter Creek bridge on Dec. 2, almost a week after she was reported missing.

Kimrey lived with Mariah’s mother, Kristy Woods, in the 2400 block of Dawson Cabin Road in Jacksonville, according to an Amber Alert.

Mariah and her brothers were put to bed by Kristy Woods on Nov. 28, the evening before Kimrey reported Mariah missing, according to the sheriff’s office.

Kimrey told investigators that while Kristy Woods was asleep, Mariah had gotten up but he had sent her back to bed. He also told investigators he left the house for a short period of time and left the door unlocked.

Kimrey was arrested Dec. 1 and has been held on a bond set at $1.01 million.

State arrest records show that Kimrey had previously been charged with larceny, assault, and drunk and disorderly conduct.

Documents allege Kimrey sexually abused Mariah

Alex Woods, Mariah’s biological father, alleged in Child Protective Services documents that Kimrey sexually abused Mariah and physically abused the two brothers, according to photos of the documents he provided to The Jacksonville Daily News.

The documents outlined why he was seeking custody of his two biological sons. Alex Woods alleged that Kimrey hit the boys with a belt – one of them in the face, causing a nosebleed.

One of the boys said that their mother, Kristy Woods, knew Kimrey was sexually abusing Mariah, according to the documents.

Kristy Woods and Kimrey have a history with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, including: Kimrey’s arrest in 2012; an assault of a juvenile at the home in 2016; property damage at the home in 2016; and communicated threats, neighborhood disputes and a “suspicious incident” involving Kimrey two days after Mariah was reported missing, according to county records.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT

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