JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The greater Onslow County community is making sure 3-year-old Mariah Woods is not forgotten, as people continue to stop by the make-shift memorial near her home on Dawson Cabin Raod.
Authorities believe they found the girl’s body Mariah Woods in Pender County on Saturday.
The memorial went up Saturday and grows by the day with stuffed animals and messages for the little girl.
“All of the items that are at the memorial after this is over will be given to the boys,” said Angela Wiles, memorial organizer. “Anything they don’t want we will divide between two different charities.”
On Sunday, many did not have words to describe how they were feeling.
“It is just devastating,” said Nelson Bolster. “I mean, you don’t know what to say about it.”
Bolster lived across from the home Woods lived in for more than 40 years.
“I’ve seen her out and about a little bit, I mean running around like a happy little girl,” he said. “Just full of life bright little girl, kind of like my little daughter when she was that age.”
Others in the area are also mourning the loss of Woods.
“It was so close to where we live, and the little girl was only three years old. And I have a little 18 month little girl. It’s just hard because it is a child,” said Jessica Estes.
“My heart shattered. This could have been any of our child, and as time went on, she became our child. That has been the hardest thing on this community,” said Bonnie Fuleki.
The memorial on Dawson Cabin Rd. in Jacksonville is open to anyone who wants to visit or leave an item in memory of Mariah Woods.