Surveillance photos not of missing North Carolina girl, Federal Bureau of Investigation says

Mariah Woods

The search for missing Onslow County 3-year-old Mariah Kay Woods resumed Friday morning with a renewed effort that included a growing number of volunteers. Deputies are asking anyone with information on the girl's whereabouts or who has had contact with the girl's family since Sunday to call them at (910) 989-4070. The girl's home is in the southeastern part of the state, just west of Jacksonville and Marine Corps Air Station New River.

Woods, who hasn't seen Mariah or her two brothers since previous year, said he isn't convinced she was abducted.

"No piece of information is too small", the sheriff's office said, adding that anyone who has had any contact with the family since her disappearance is asked to call the sheriff's office or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Her disappearance Monday prompted an Amber Alert that has gained national attention. The FBI joined the search for the girl Tuesday.

Morehead City is about 40 miles east of Mariah's home in Jacksonville.

"Every second counts when a child is missing, especially after the cold night we just had", Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller told reporters Tuesday.

Mariah's biological father, Alex Woods, told WCTI-TV his daughter's disappearance was "a nightmare". "This ain't true. I mean, really", he said. She was last seen wearing white and pink underwear.

Update: The FBI announced that the surveillance images they released as a possible lead are not the 3-year-old girl at the center of the Amber Alert. Woods asked. "Nobody heard anything? Four people in the house, two adults and two kids, someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?"

Kristy Woods pleaded for her daughter's safe return Monday. Woods lives with her mother and her mother's live-in boyfriend in Jacksonville, North Carolina. "I love her. I'll do anything that I can, whatever you want".

Family members said Mariah has an orthopedic leg problem, so when she walks her left leg is thrown around and causes her to wobble.

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.

The investigation has the support of more than 14 agencies, Sheriff Miller said.

Mariah's grandmother Anne Edwards said the child wears braces on her legs and would probably not make it far on her own.

Law enforcement officials also searched the home and the family's vehicle for evidence. Agents and investigators with more than 14 local, state, and federal agencies have also conducted almost 100 interviews, and have followed more than 140 leads. "It's entirely premature to try to determine what happened". Miller said authorities "will not rule out any situation that may have occurred".

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