UPDATE: Photos released by the FBI Wednesday morning that were believed to be of a missing 3-year-old North Carolina girl at the center of a statewide Amber Alert have been debunked.
On Wednesday, WCTI spoke with Jetta Long, a 23-year-old Newport woman who said she was the person in the pictures. Long said the girl in the picture is not Mariah Kay Woods, who has been missing since Sunday, but her daughter. Long told the station she is frustrated that the photos “may have gotten the hopes of the family up.”
JACKSONVILLE, NC — The FBI released images Wednesday morning from a Walmart in Morehead City that may show a missing three-year-old North Carolina girl at the center of a statewide Amber Alert, WGHP reported.
The FBI said a tip led law enforcement to obtain an image of an adult and child that was captured at about 9:30 a.m. Monday morning in the Walmart.
“The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI are attempting to determine whether the child depicted in this image is missing three year old Mariah Woods,” a press release reads. “Therefore, we are requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the adult and the child depicted in this image.”
Mariah Kay Woods has been missing since Sunday night when her mother put her to bed. Woods lives with her mother and her mother’s live-in boyfriend in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
In an interview with WCTI, Mariah’s biological father, Alex Woods, said he found out his daughter was missing when the AMBER Alert was issued Monday morning.
Woods, who hasn’t seen Mariah or her two brothers since last year, said he isn’t convinced she was abducted.
“Someone just walked right up in there, grabbed the three-year-old out of the bed and she didn’t cry, she didn’t scream?” Woods told WCTI. “Nobody heard anything? Four people in the house, two adults and two kids someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?”
Mariah is a white female, approximately 2 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 30 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes.
If you have any information regarding the alleged abduction, call the Onslow County Sheriff at (910) 455-3113, or call 911 or *HP.
The FBI has created a missing poster that will be featured on all the FBI social media sites.