Mother's boyfriend charged w/ murder in Mariah Woods' death; chloroform determined cause of death

ONSLOW COUNTY -- Adolphus Earl Kimrey was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 3-year-old Mariah Woods on Wednesday, according to arrest warrants.

Mariah was last seen in bed by her mother around 11 p.m. on Nov. 26. Her disappearance prompted an Amber Alert on Nov. 27 that gained national attention.

In addition to murder, records show Kimrey was charged with felony child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury/death.

The man was initially held on several other charges, including concealing an unattended death.

An autopsy conducted on Dec. 4 provided a preliminary cause of death. However, additional chemical and toxicology tests were required.

The Medical Examiner's Office determined that chloroform - a liquid used as a general anesthetic - was determined to be the cause of Mariah's death.

While many speculate that Kimrey may have abused the 3-year-old, officials did not indicate that the autopsy revealed any signs of trauma.

Mariah's remains were found in Pender County on Dec. 2. Authorities said Mariah's mother Kristy has been cooperating with the investigation. No charges have been filed against her.

While an arrest was made, officials said the investigation has not concluded.

"The death of a child is always a sobering reminder of how fragile life is," said Onslow County sheriff Hans Miller in a news release. "When the community is so deeply affected by such a horrific crime it is sometimes difficult to not allow our emotions to influence the decisions that we make.

"However, the best way to honor Mariah is to ensure a fair and thorough investigation, which will lead to a successful prosecution. We must remember that through these moments, together, as a community we can ensure that justice will be delivered for Mariah. We sincerely thank the community for their patience and support through this entire investigation."

Kirmey was placed under no bond.
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