ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Onlsow County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday morning they are waiting for a forensic pathology report to determine how 3-year-old Mariah Woods died.
An autopsy was performed Monday on the little girl. Her remains were found Saturday in a creek in Pender County.
The group, "Justice for Mariah," held a public candlelight vigil Tuesday.
The vigil took place at the toddler's ever-growing memorial site at the intersection of Dawson Cabin and Ernest King roads in Onslow County. Community members have been leaving items including flowers, stuffed animals and balloons at the site in Woods' remembrance.
"It really hit close to home, and we just felt compelled to do something, and for the community to come together and mourn as one, but also honor her spirit, said Linda Clendenin, who organized the event.
About 50 people came together to sing songs, pray and observe a moment of silence for Mariah. Community members read poems and embraced, tears streaming down many faces as they held tightly onto their candles and pictures of the 3-year-old.
"I just felt full of love and full of so much hope for this community that we will bounce back from this and we will learn from this, and we now need to be more mindful of the children here," Noah Ludlow said.
If you weren't able to attend Tuesday night's vigil, another one, organized by Angela Wiles, will be held Sunday at 5:30 p.m., also at the memorial site.
A public visitation will be held Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. at Jones Funeral Home at 303 Chaney Ave. A private burial will follow for family only.