Adolphus Earl Kimrey II pleaded guilty to killing his then-girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter and faced the death penalty if he had gone to trial and was convicted of killing her.
Kimrey reported Mariah missing from the home he shared with his girlfriend, Kristy Woods, and her children, after leaving the door unlocked. Kristy Woods told police she put her daughter to bed the night before, but the next morning she was gone.
After a six-day search, investigators charged Kimrey with obstruction of justice, concealing an unattended death, possession of stolen goods, second-degree burglary, and larceny after breaking and entering. An autopsy revealed that Mariah Woods, 3, died of chloroform toxicity.
Kimrey used chloroform on Mariah to supposedly make her fall asleep, allowing him the chance to get high on methamphetamine.
He called 911 to report the child as missing. He told the dispatcher he found Mariah’s pink footie pajamas laying on the floor, and that she never went outside by herself. This prompted a widespread search for the toddler.
Mariah’s remains were found on Dec. 2, 2017 by a dive team. Her deceased body was abandoned in a local creek.
Kimrey was arrested and charged with concealing a death, obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property.
District Attorney Ernie Lee said Kimrey bought bleach, nail polish remover, a headlamp and zip ties before killing Mariah. Kimrey was addicted to methamphetamine at the time of the murder. Additional testing found that Adolphus Kimrey was consumed and dominated by a need for drugs, which severely impaired his mind.
Onslow County District Attorney Ernie Lee said he was not sure if the law would have allowed him to seek the death penalty against Kimrey, but he was going to argue that the death was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.