JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The FBI is now assisting in the search for a missing 3-year-old girl in Jacksonville after an AMBER Alert was issued Monday morning.
Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller said crews spent all day searching the area of Dawson Cabin Road in Jacksonville for Mariah Woods on Monday.
“We’ve had boots on the ground and eyes in the sky,” Miller said. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the State Highway Patrol have sent their helicopters to assist in the search.
The FBI has deployed special agents to aid in the search, a spokesperson for the FBI confirmed to CBS North Carolina. Agents with the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team are helping. FBI CARD Team members are highly trained and experienced experts on missing children cases, the FBI said.
Kristy Woods, Mariah’s mother, is pleading for her daughter to be returned safely saying, “‘I’ll do anything that I can, whatever you want, just bring her home please safe and sound. She’s my baby, she’s my everything.”
Mariah’s mom says she woke up Monday morning and noticed her daughter was missing from her bedroom.
She says the last time she saw her daughter was around 11 p.m. Sunday when she went to check on her.
Family members said there was no sign of forced entry or anything wrong with Mariah’s room but did mention the back door was unlocked.
Once they realized Mariah was missing, Woods and her live-in boyfriend called authorities.
Multiple agencies spent the day searching for the girl, using helicopters, drones and K-9s.
Family members said the girl has an orthopedic leg problem, so when she walks her left leg is thrown around and causes her to wobble.
Mariah’s grandmother said due to her granddaughter’s walking issues, she can’t imagine her wandering off.
The family also said Mariah would not have left with a stranger.
The sheriff’s office checked with Mariah’s biological father but said he does not have the girl.
The girl’s two older brothers were in the house when Mariah disappeared.
They made it to school safely.
Mariah’s mother describes her as their “little angel,” with a goofy, outgoing and talkative personality.”
Mariah Woods is a white female about 2 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing 30 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes.