State to seek death penalty for accused killer of Mariah Woods

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) - Prosecutors say they plan to seek the death penalty against a live-in boyfriend who is charged with killing Mariah Woods.

District Attorney Ernie Lee announced that this afternoon.

Earl Kimrey was indicted earlier this week for Woods' murder last year.

He was arrested on January 24th for the murder of the toddler, more than a month after her body was found in a Pender County creek.

Kimrey was indicted for first degree murder, felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury, felony common law obstruction of justice, felony concealment of death, second degree burglary, felony larceny and felony possession of stolen property.

An autopsy says the three-year-old died from chloroform toxicity. Sheriff Hans Miller said they suspect the chemical was used to disable the child and that led to her death.

The toddler was reported missing from her Onslow County home on November 27th by Kimrey, according to deputies.

At the time Kimrey told investigators that after her mother, Kristy Woods, had gone to sleep, Mariah got up and Kimrey told her to go back to bed.

Kimrey said he left the home for a short period of time, leaving the door unlocked.

After an extensive search lasting several days, the girl's body was found near a bridge across Holly Shelter Creek.

The district attorney says they plan to try Kimrey as a capital murder case due to the existence of at least one aggravating circumstance.

Kimrey is due to be arraigned February 26th.


Previous Story

An Onslow County grand jury has indicted a man for the murder of Mariah Woods.

Earl Kimrey was arrested on January 24th for the murder of the toddler, more than a month after the toddler's body was found in a Pender County creek.

Kimrey, the live-in boyfriend of Mariah's mother, was indicted for first degree murder, felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury, felony common law obstruction of justice, felony concealment of death, second degree burglary, felony larceny and felony possession of stolen property.

An autopsy says the three-year-old died from chloroform toxicity. Sheriff Hans Miller said they suspect the chemical was used to disable the child and that led to her death.

Miller would not say how they believe Kimrey obtained the chloroform.

The toddler was reported missing from her Onslow County home on November 27th by Kimrey, according to deputies.

At the time Kimrey told investigators that after her mother, Kristy Woods, had gone to sleep, Mariah got up and Kimrey told her to go back to bed.

Kimrey said he left the home for a short period of time, leaving the door unlocked.

After an extensive search lasting several days, the girl's body was found near a bridge across Holly Shelter Creek.

Kimrey is under no bond on the murder charge.

He is next due back in court on February 26th for arraignment and a Rule 24 hearing at which time prosecutors will announce whether they plan to seek the death penalty or not.