Mariah Woods case: suspect placed object ‘bigger than a book bag’ in van, warrant alleges

Photos of Mariah Kay Woods
Photos of Mariah Kay Woods FBI

Search warrants released Friday include statements from witnesses connecting Earl Kimrey with the disappearance of Mariah Woods, the 3-year-old he is charged with killing.

Officials also released the 911 call Kimrey, the boyfriend of Mariah’s mother, placed to report the girl missing from a home on Dawson Cabin Road in Jacksonville on Nov. 27.

The call sparked a weeklong search by more than 200 members of local, state and federal agencies that ended Dec. 2, when the FBI said the child’s remains were found in a creek along Shaw Highway in Pender County.

One of the warrant documents said witnesses told Onslow County deputies they saw Kimrey place an object “bigger than a book bag” in a van registered to the mother, Kristy Woods, about 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 26, according to television station WITN.


Among items seized from the blue, 1996 Plymouth van on Nov. 28 were a pink jacket, zip ties, children’s clothing, carpet sections and swabs from the seats, television station WNCT reported.

Kimrey is heard breathing heavily in the 7-minute 911 call he placed after 6 a.m. on Nov. 27.

He told the dispatcher the last time Mariah was seen was then night before, when he said everyone in the home went to bed at the same time, at 8 to 8:30 p.m. He said they searched “everywhere we could have, two or three times.”

“Our 3-year-old is nowhere to be found,” Kimrey said in the call. “We have looked everywhere in our house and out in our yard, and our little girl, she’s missing.”

Kimrey, 32, initially was charged with concealing a death, obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property, according to arrest records. An arrest warrant said Kimrey “secretly disposed of the dead child’s body.”

On Jan. 24, Kimrey was charged with first degree murder and felony child abuse, after an autopsy revealed Mariah died of chloroform toxicity.

Kimrey, whose full name is Adolphus Earl Kimrey II, was indicted by an Onslow County grand jury on Feb. 13. Fourth Prosecutorial District Attorney Ernie Lee on Feb. 15 announced plans to seek the death penalty against Kimrey.

Attorneys representing Kimrey will hear the state’s argument for the death penalty on Monday, according to the Wilmington StarNews.