Police have finally filed murder charges in the death of 3-year-old Mariah Woods, whose body was found in a creek in December, days after her mother said she'd disappeared from her North Carolina home. The mother's live-in boyfriend, Adolphus Earl Kimrey II—already facing charges including concealing a death and obstructing justice—was on Wednesday charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury or death after an autopsy and toxicology tests showed Mariah died of chloroform toxicity, reports People. "We suspect this chemical was used to disable the child, and according to the autopsy report, it led to her death," Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller tells WRAL.
Authorities have yet to paint a clear picture of what happened in the hours before Kristy Woods found her daughter missing on the morning of Nov. 27 and remain tight-lipped as the investigation continues. Kimrey previously told police he checked on Mariah before leaving the family home for a short period during the night. Mariah wasn't seen again until her body was pulled from a creek 30 miles from the home five days later, per WRAL. Around that time, Mariah's biological father accused Kimrey of sexually abusing Mariah, apparently with her mother's knowledge, reports the News & Observer. This week, the Sheriff’s Office said Woods "has been cooperative ... and continues to cooperate with the detectives." (Read more murder stories.)