Dive team searching area near home of missing 3-year-old girl
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WCTI) - A dive team began searching a wooded area approximately one mile from missing 3-year-old Mariah Woods' home Thursday afternoon.
Mariah was last seen after being put to bed by her mother and boyfriend at their home Sunday night.
The FBI and several other agencies joined the search shortly after she was declared missing.
No further details on what led investigators to that area were immediately available.
Community members gathered Wednesday night in Jacksonville for a prayer service dedicated to the missing 3-year-old and her family.
Thursday marks the fourth day of an "intensive search" for the cooperating agencies. Officials have combed through hundreds of acres by foot, air and with K-9 units, Sheriff Hans Miller said.
The investigation has the support of more than 14 agencies, Sheriff Miller said. Officials have conducted 100 interviews, followed more than 140 leads and had the assistance of more than 225 investigators working around the clock.
When questioned about the adults in Mariah's life, Sheriff Miller said that "we've talked to them, they've talked to us," but would not elaborate further.
Biological father Alex Woods and his fiancé said Wednesday night the lead detective in the case of missing Mariah Woods told them they are no longer suspects.
Speaking with WCTI Tuesday, Woods said it's hard to believe nobody heard anything when Mariah was allegedly taken Sunday night after being put to bed.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.