The Onslow County Sheriff's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation took 32-year-old Earl Kimrey into custody on Friday.
The arrest warrant issued for Kimrey said he obstructed justice by "removing Mariah Woods' body from the scene of her death and did hide Mariah Woods' death and body, knowing that Mariah Woods died from unnatural causes".
Investigators think the girl is dead, but they have not found her body, the sheriff's office said in a statement that did not say how authorities think the girl was killed.
Woods was reported missing Monday. She claimed she had not been seen since midnight, when she checked on her, and that her boyfriend Earl was the last person to see Mariah alive. He told investigators the girl woke up and he told her to go back to sleep. The search is now shifting to recovery efforts. Kimrey is being held in the Onslow County Detention Center under a $1,010,000 bond. Deputies say her body has not been found. "Just bring her home, please, safe and sound". The warrant also says that Kimrey "secretly disposed of the dead child's body".
The statement did not indicate whether Kimrey had a lawyer or if anyone else could also be charged.
Arrest made in connection to missing Onslow County girl
In all, 730 volunteers joined law enforcement personnel in the search on Friday.
"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?"
The sheriff said Wilmington Police Department officers and e New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies were searching on horseback, and boats from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries were in on the search.
The FBI said it has been sending "items of interest" to its lab in Quantico, Virginia, for priority testing in the case.
FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Stanley Meador said authorities spent days searching by foot, boat and in the water for any leads. The missing child's case has shifted to a homicide case.