JACKSONVILLE, N.C.--The FBI and Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said more resources, including law enforcement horses and search boats, have been added to the search teams out in Jacksonville Thursday.
Hundreds of volunteers showed up Friday morning at the Dawson Community Church in Jacksonville to help with the search.
By 9 a.m., the sheriff’s office said they had reached max capacity for volunteers.
“We are overwhelmed by the public’s support to help us #FindMariah. Unfortunately, we have run out of room for any additional volunteers. We will need to cut off the arrival of any additional volunteers for today’s search. We understand you may be disappointed, but if people continue to show up, it would delay or interfere with the work we are trying to do,” the sheriff’s office wrote on their Facebook page.
“We’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support and help on this case,” he added.
The FBI says volunteers will be searching in terrain that is rough and contains vines and thorn bushes, which means you should wear appropriate attire and bring your own water or snacks.
No horses, no 4-wheelers, just people on foot and ready to walk. Volunteers will be broken up into groups with a team leader and will walk in a straight line no more than 10 feet apart.
Specific details will be posted on the Onslow County Sheriff's Office Facebook page and communicated to volunteers as they arrive Friday morning.
Other requirements of volunteers laid out by the FBI:
- Volunteers should be physically able to walk over rough terrain and not tire quickly.
- Each search could last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.
- If you locate an item of interest, stop walking, do not touch anything and call the team leader over.
- Absolutely, no photos should be taken by volunteers during this investigative process. Volunteers seen taking photos will be dismissed.
Your safety and finding Mariah are priorities for us. We are grateful to Team Adam with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for organizing this volunteer search, the FBI says.
According to the FBI, the goal is to talk to every person who lives in Mariah’s neighborhood. We have spoken to many of them, but not everyone. Some people may not have been home when we tried to talk to them, we will continue to contact everyone to determine if they have any information that can help us find Mariah.