North Carolina Amber Alert: Woman in FBI photos says girl is her daughter, not missing girl

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017
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New pictures released in NC Amber Alert

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. -- Surveillance photos released by the FBI early Wednesday morning in the case of missing 3-year-old Mariah Kay Woods of North Carolina appears to be a dead end, according to reports.

WCTI spoke with a 23-year-old Newport, North Carolina, woman who said she is the woman pictured in the surveillance photos.

Jetta Long told the eastern North Carolina ABC news station that the young girl in the photos is her daughter - not Mariah, who was reported missing from Onslow County Monday and has prompted a Amber Alert.

She said she doesn't know Mariah's family, but she is frustrated that the surveillance photos "may have gotten the hopes of the family up."

Long also revealed that her daughter was born with a shortened leg, so she said she understood how her little girl could have been mistaken for the missing toddler.

Mariah's family has said that the 3-year-old struggles to get around on her own and wears leg braces for assistance.

The girl has been missing since Sunday night when her mother put her to bed. She lives with her mother and her mother's live-in boyfriend on Dawson Cabin Road in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Her biological father Alex Woods told WCTI 12 Tuesday that he found out his daughter was missing when the Amber Alert was issued and he hasn't seen her for about a year. He said he doesn't believe his daughter was abducted.

WATCH: Raw video of emotional interview with Mariah's biological father

"Someone just walked right up in there, grabbed the 3-year-old out of the bed and she didn't cry, she didn't scream?" Alex Woods said. "Nobody heard anything? Four people in the house, two adults and two kids, someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?"

ABC News reports that her mother reached out to the public in an emotion-filled plea Monday.

"Please, bring her back ... She's my baby, she's my everything," said Kristy Woods in a press conference. "(I) just to be able to touch her and hold her and not let her go again. I'd give anything."

She is described as a white female standing about 2' 9" tall and weighing around 30 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes.

The FBI is assisting state and local law enforcement with the investigation; they have brought in the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment for further assistance.

Marines based at nearby Camp Lejeune are also assisting in the search.

Authorities said they have been using all means necessary to find Mariah including ground searches assist by a helicopter.

Those with information are asked to call (919) 455-3113.