Judge denies defense’s DNA request in deaths of Shanann Watts, daughters
Latest updates: Homicides of Shanann Watts, daughters

Photos released by FBI of possible missing 3-year-old North Carolina girl debunked

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — Photos released by the FBI on 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 woman who said she is 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 that she is frustrated that the photos “may have gotten the hopes of the family up.”

Mariah Kay Woods

Mariah 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 3-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-foot-9 and 30 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes.

The FBI has created a missing poster that will be featured on all the FBI social media sites.