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Visitation for Mariah Woods brings out lots of people, more emotions

Mariah Woods (Contributed photo)

JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - Even as Wednesday's visitation for Mariah Kay Woods was wrapping up at the Jones Funeral Home in Jacksonville, there were still people arriving.

Many came to find some sort of closure, even for a few minutes. Tammy Brooks is hugging her own children a little tighter tonight, trying to come to grips with seeing the tiny casket for 3-year-old Woods.

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"It breaks your heart you know she didn't even have a chance to live life and her poor family didn't even get that chance to show her," Brooks said. "Everyday I'm looking for updates."

Brooks was determined to pay her respects, even though she almost didn't make it.

"I accidently got it confused," she said. "I thought it was 4 to 8 but I double-checked and it said it was 4 to 6 and it was like ten till 6 and I said 'I don't care'."

Turning the page on this chapter of the Woods case, Brooks is looking ahead to what's still to come.

"Just want justice for her and their family," Brooks said. "She deserves everything you know?"

Monica Robertson didn't mince words about her feelings.

"People are monsters, just disgusting," Robertson said.

She, like many others, were struggling to put into words the chilling moment looking at Woods' casket.

"Something that looks like a cooler with flowers surrounding it, like it didn't look real, just like a fairy tale land more like candy land but at the end of the day it's not a fairytale it's realistic, sad but it's realistic," Robertson said.

It's a young child who's future will forever be left untold.

"You will never get a chance to see her go to a prom, her first report card, marriage, having kids, experiencing life, things that we take for granted," Robertson said.

It's an unforgettable tragedy that has brought a community closer.

"I have a daughter and she is 16 but there was a time she was a 3-year-old and that's what every parent feels," Robertson said. "We feel what another mother feels because it takes a community, a village to raise (a child), and at this point and time we feel like Mariah that was so close to home to us that was just right and your backyard."

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