• Taylor Williams case: Mother arrested; neighbor says missing Florida girl was often left home alone

    By: ActionNewsJax.com

    Updated:
    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

    A neighbor told investigators Taylor Rose Williams, the 5-year-old girl who vanished last week from her home in Jacksonville, Florida, was often left home alone before her reported disappearance. 

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    Authorities in Alabama said Tuesday that they discovered human remains while searching for Taylor. Forensic tests were ongoing to confirm the identity of the remains.

    Police said Taylor was last seen around 12 a.m. Wednesday in her bedroom at her home in the Brentwood area. Her mother, Brianna Williams, has since been arrested and charged with giving false information to law enforcement and child neglect.

    Here are the latest updates:

    Update 3:50 p.m. EST Nov. 13: A warrant issued for the arrest of 5-year-old Taylor Williams' mother, Brianna Williams, shows a neighbor told detective he saw Taylor wandering the apartment complex alone on multiple occasions.

    He told authorities he first noticed Taylor alone on the morning of April 17, while he was sitting on his balcony talking on the phone. He said he saw Taylor wandering up the stairs from the breezeway and that he asked her what she was doing.

    "Looking for my momma," she answered, according to the neighbor's account.

    He told police he took her back to her apartment. He described the inside of the apartment as cluttered, with trash bags and boxes stacked on top of each other.

    He said he continued to see Taylor home alone at least every other day, adding that she would wave to him from within her apartment. During these times, he said Brianna Williams' car was not in the apartment parking lot.

    He said Taylor always wore the same pajamas and held the same doll. He said he saw Brianna Williams routinely arrive home between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

    He told authorities the last time he saw Brianna Williams and her daughter together was May 21, 2019. He said he hadn't seen Taylor since that day and that when he asked Brianna Williams about her daughter's whereabouts, she said the 5-year-old was in Alabama with her grandparents.

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    Update 3 p.m. EST Nov. 13: Hospital officials told WJAX-TV that Brianna Williams, the mother of Taylor Williams was no longer listed Wednesday afternoon as a patient.

    She was taken to the hospital Tuesday afternoon after being found unresponsive at Naval Air Station Jacksonville from an apparent overdose.

    Update 8:07 a.m. EST Nov. 13: Brianna Williams' bond has been set at $1.1 million, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Department of Corrections website. That includes $100,000 for one count of giving false information to law enforcement and $500,000 each for two counts of child neglect, the website said.

     

    Update 5:35 p.m. EST Nov. 12: 

    • Search teams have recovered the remains of a child in Alabama.
    • Exact identification has not been made.
    • Brianna Williams has been arrested and charged with child neglect and giving false information to investigators.
    • Brianna Williams is in the hospital due to an apparent overdose.
    • Williams is in serious condition.
    • Anyone with additional information is still asked to contact the Sheriff's Office.
    • This investigation is "no where near done," according to Sheriff Mike Williams.

     

    Update 3:50 p.m. EST Nov. 12: Sources told WJAX-TV that Brianna Williams, mother of missing Florida 5-year-old Taylor Rose Williams, was taken to a hospital Tuesday, hours after authorities announced they had found human remains while searching for her daughter.

    Brianna Williams, who is a Petty Officer 1st Class at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, had previously been identified as a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance.

    Officials with the Demopolis, Alabama, Police Department said Tuesday that human remains were found between Demopolis and Linden, Alabama, during the search for Taylor. Forensic testing was ongoing Tuesday to identify the remains.

    Brianna Williams previously lived about 15 miles from Demopolis.

    Update 1:30 p.m. EST Nov. 12: Police in Demopolis, Alabama, said human remains were found in a wooded area between the Alabama cities of Linden and Demopolis during the search for Taylor Rose Williams.

    Authorities said Tuesday that the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was awaiting the results of forensic tests to identify the remains.

    Update 1:15 p.m. EST Nov. 12: Authorities in Demopolis, Alabama, said human remains have been discovered during the search for Taylor Rose Williams, 5.

    Update 2:15 p.m. EST Nov. 11: Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Taylor Williams' mother is considered a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance.

    Williams said Monday at a news conference that Brianna Williams has remained uncooperative since shortly after Taylor's disappearance.

    "She has not spoken to us since Wednesday and she was the last person to see Taylor," Williams said.

    Authorities confirmed officials were searching the Demopolis, Alabama, area in hopes of finding Taylor. Williams said the search area was large Monday afternoon, but added that he expected it to be whittled down later in the evening.

    "There's a lot of different efforts going on right now in this investigation," Williams said. "The information that drove us to Alabama demanded this response, and we absolutely hope to find her alive."

    Williams asked that anyone who saw Taylor or her mother between Jacksonville and Alabama in the last two weeks contact authorities.

    Rachel Rojas, special agent-in-charge of the Jacksonville FBI office, said several teams, including the Child Abduction Response Team and the Cellular Analysis Survey Team, have been part of the investigation.

    Update 1:40 p.m. EST Nov. 11: Officials with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office are holding a news conference Monday afternoon to update the public on the search for Taylor Williams.

    Update 10:50 a.m. EST Nov. 11: Police in Jacksonville have expanded their search efforts for a missing girl to include Georgia and Alabama.

    The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said in a news conference last week that they were working with investigators in Alabama because Taylor's mother, Brianna Williams, has family there.

    The Demopolis Police Department said Sunday afternoon that they were assisting the FBI and other out-of-state agencies in a search for a missing person around the Demopolis area. It was not immediately clear whether the search was connected to Taylor's disappearance. Demopolis is about 15 miles away from where Brianna Williams previously lived. 

    Update 8:53 a.m. EST Nov. 10: Detectives are looking into a Craigslist ad that may have been posted by Brianna Williams the day before reporting her daughter, Taylor Rose Williams, was missing.

    The poster of the ad states "childcare needed tomorrow" because they were "bailed on," Action News Jax reported.

    Brianna Williams' name is not on the ad, but the poster mentions having a 5-year-old daughter, working at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station, and living in Jacksonville's Northside section..

    Update 9 p.m. EST Nov 7: First Coast Crime Stoppers announced it has increased the reward in the case for missing 5-year-old Taylor Williams to $4,000.

    The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is working with another agency in a different state as it investigates the disappearance of Taylor Williams. 

    Brianna Williams, Taylor's mother, is from Alabama.

    The Sheriff's Office said it is working with investigators in Alabama because Brianna Williams has family there.

    While Sheriff Mike Williams said Brianna Williams is not cooperating in the investigation, some of her family members are. Some family members have come from out of town to speak with police.

    Update 4 p.m. EST Nov 7: Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Taylor's mother Brianna S. Williams is no longer being cooperative with the investigation.

    When asked if Brianna Williams is considered a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance, Sheriff Williams said "Nothing's off the table."

    Sheriff Williams is asking anyone who has seen Taylor and Brianna Williams together in Jacksonville in the last six months to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at (904) 630-0500.

    Original report: Taylor's mother, Brianna S. Williams, who is a Petty Officer 1st Class at NAS Jacksonville, told police she put Taylor to bed around midnight. Williams told police when she woke up at 7 a.m., she did not see Taylor in her bedroom and the back door was unlocked.

    Taylor was last seen wearing a purple shirt and pink pajama pants. She is 3 feet tall and weighs 50 pounds. 

    Officers have been going door-to-door in the Brentwood neighborhood and have a helicopter to get an above view to aid in the massive search.

    Crews with the JSO Dive Team arrived at one of the search areas near the Southside Villas apartment complex where Taylor had lived with her family until recently, as well as two JSO trucks, a small boat and ATV/tractor type vehicle. They searched in the water in a former neighborhood looking for Taylor, Wednesday afternoon.

    A dumpster was taken from the Southside Villas apartment complex and eventually, the contents were emptied.

    Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson said the first 12 hours are critical when searching for a child, in a situation like this, because evidence can disappear in a 12-hour period and clues could be lost that can help find them. 

    Officials in Jacksonville said more than 100 police officers, firefighters search dogs, dive teams, mounted police, drone units and volunteers are assisting to help find her.

    If you see her or know of her whereabouts, you are asked to call police at 904-630-0500.

    The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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