JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The man charged in the disappearance of Mariah Woods made his first appearance in court Monday, wearing an orange jumpsuit and underneath, a bullet proof vest.
Earl Kimrey, boyfriend of Mariah Woods’ mother, is being charged with getting rid of the 3-year-old girls body, knowing she did not die of natural causes.
Kimrey did not speak during the proceedings, which lasted less than five minutes.
District Attorney Ernie Lee asked the judge to keep the bond of $1,010,000 the same, and the judge agreed, setting Kimrey’s next court date for December 18.
Sheriff Hans Miller and his top investigators showed up to watch in court.
“I personally felt necessary to be there,” Miller said. “I am a father. I’m a grandfather. It affected all of us because this community cares.”
Onslow County residents also came out. Tisha Christy lives near Mariah, and see she wants justice.
“This whole community has been on pins and needles hoping and praying we would find her alive,” said Christy. “Saturday, when it broke, it devastated a lot of us.”
Miller said the investigation is far from over, and authorities are still conducting examiners.
A medical examiner’s report regarding Mariah’s death has yet to be released.
More than 30 agencies worked over the last week in the search and investigation.
Miller said that search, coupled with help from the community, lead to the discovery of Mariah’s body.