ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. — Alex Woods is heartbroken.
“I just didn’t believe it,” Woods said. “Like a nightmare, like I was dreaming, sleeping. It just didn’t seem real.”
He’s the biological father of 3-year-old Mariah Woods, who disappeared from her home in Onslow County either late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
Investigators say the toddler was last seen when she was put to bed on Sunday.
The girl’s mother reported her missing the next morning.
But Woods, who hasn’t seen his daughter in about a year, thinks there’s more to the story and believes his daughter wasn’t abducted.
“Somebody just walks right in there, grabs a 3-year-old out the bed, she didn’t cry, she didn’t scream?” he said. “Nobody heard nothing?”
“Four people in the house, two adults and two babies and somebody just comes, snatches the baby up and walks out?” he said.
Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller says investigators have been searching by foot, air and are using K-9s.
“Right now, 225 investigators, agents, and other law enforcement are working around the clock with one goal in mind,” Miller said. “That goal is to find Mariah and to bring her back home.”
The sheriff is even calling on community members for help.
“If you have a shed, a barn, a wooded area, go take a look,” Miller said. “Call us immediately if you see something out of the ordinary. No piece of information is too small.”
It’s a search Woods says gets more painful each day.
“I want my baby back,” Woods said.
Investigators say they’ve gotten more than 140 leads and have done about 100 interviews.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 455-3113.