The search for a missing Florida girl has now expanded into three states as authorities continue looking for 5-year-old Taylor Williams.
Action News Jax reports that officials expanded the search for Taylor Williams into Georgia and Alabama, while crews continue to also look for the little girl in Florida. A large police presence was seen Sunday night in Demopolis, Alabama, where Taylor’s mother, Brianna Williams, is from.
Authorities confirmed that they’re looking for a missing person on Demopolis, but they haven’t yet confirmed if they’re searching for Taylor in that particular area.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said last week they started working with Alabama investigators because Brianna’s family lives there. Some of the family members said they haven’t seen Taylor in years.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Taylor’s paternal grandfather said it’s been close to two years since he’s seen his 5-year-old grandaughter. The man said Taylor’s father, Maurice Tate, also hadn’t seen the girl in nearly two years after Williams left Alabama and moved to Jacksonville, Florida.
Tate, a truck driver, confirmed to the outlet that “it’s been a while” since he saw Taylor, although he did not elaborate any further.
Authorities said Taylor was indeed in Jacksonville at some point. Records confirmed she was once enrolled in a military daycare center. The parent of another child said she last saw the little girl at the daycare in June.
Brianna Williams, a Petty Officer 1st Class at NAS Jacksonville, initially cooperated with investigators. However, after they noticed discrepancies in her story, she stopped talking, authorities said.
“Yesterday we were talking to her about some inconsistencies in her statement and that’s when she chose to stop cooperating with us,” JSO Sheriff Mike Williams said on Thursday.
The child’s mother told police she last saw the little girl in her room at around midnight on Wednesday, off of Ivy Street in Brentwood. Williams and her daughter had recently moved into the home.
Williams said she checked on the child again in the morning. Taylor was not there. The back door at the home was reportedly unlocked.
Three people in Florida told Action Jax News that Taylor has not been seen in weeks. The outlet stated that they’re trying to confirm the accuracy of the details with investigators.
Further, First Coast News reports that neighbors, along with a couple hired to help Williams move from a Southside apartment to a Brentwood home, stated they “never saw a child.”
“We never saw a child. We never heard a child. Nothing,” Tiffani Nicole, who helped Brianna Williams move, told the outlet. “I was assuming the kid was in daycare, or the child was with a friend, so she can get her apartment cleaned out.”
Nicole added that Brianna Williams’ previous apartment in Jacksonville’s Southside area looked “not well lived-in if there was a child there.”
“There was old food all over the floor, underneath the couches. There was trash everywhere.”
Meanwhile, sources told News4Jax that a cadaver dog picked up on scents in the trunk of Brianna Williams’ car. Although authorities haven’t confirmed the accuracy of the statement, they towed Brianna Williams’ car from her Brentwood home on Wednesday.
A co-worker said that Brianna Williams returned to work on Thursday and looked forlorn and sad.
“She was sad, she was really sad, like someone had cried their last tear,” the colleague said.
The colleague added that he was surprised to learn that Brianna Williams moved from her Southside apartment to the Brentwood area. He added that only Williams could provide an explanation for the move.
Timeline of Events
November 6, 2019
- At 7 a.m., Taylor’s mother, identified at Briana Williams, called Jacksonville police and told them she last saw her daughter in her bedroom in a home off of Ivy Street in Brentwood, at around midnight.
- Williams claimed that her daughter was nowhere in her room when she checked on her and that the back door of the home was unlocked.
- At 8:23 a.m. the National Crime Information Center lists Taylor as missing.
- At 8:51 a.m., authorities alert the media about Taylor’s disappearance.
- At 11:30 a.m., Florida authorities changed Taylor’s disappearance from a “Missing Child Alert” to an “Amber Alert.”
- At 12:20 p.m., investigators begin searching at the Southside Villas apartment complex on the city’s Southside. As CrimeOnline previously reported, the family had recently moved from the complex.
- At 4:45 p.m., investigators dumped the contents from a large dumpster at the complex into an open field at a tow yard off of Phillips Highway. They spent hours scouring its contents.
- At 5:55 p.m., police bring a crime scene van and a truck to the tow yard.
November 7, 2019
- Taylor’s grandfather arrived in Florida from out of state.
- Volunteers were seen gathering in groups, searching the Brentwood area.
- Authorities were seen searching both the Brentwood area and the Southside, close to the Paradise Island complex.
- Florida Crime Stoppers announced up to a $3,000 reward for information that leads to Taylor.
- At around 12 p.m., a crime scene unit van left the family’s home in Brentwood. Action Jax News reports that an investigator entered the home with a camera.
- At around 2 p.m., Action Jax News announced that three sources said Taylor has not been seen in weeks.
- During a 4 p.m. press conference, Sheriff Williams asked the public to be on the lookout for Taylor.
November 8, 2019
- Authorities continue to search for Taylor Williams
- The search has been expanded to Alabama, where Brianna Williams is from originally.
- The command centers have been removed but police confirmed that the search for Taylor remains very much active.
- The reward for Taylor’s return has now increased to $4,000.
November 10, 2019
- Search crews began searching the Demopolis area for a missing person.
- The Demopolis Police Department asked the public to stay away from areas with “high police presence.”
- The police department confirmed that the FBI, SBI and out of state agencies are helping with a missing persons case, but did not confirm whether or not they were searching for Taylor in the area.
An award for information that leads to Taylor is currently at $4,000. She’s described as a black female who stands 3-feet-tall and weighs around 50 pounds. She was last seen wearing pink and purple pajamas.
Anyone with information on Taylor’s whereabouts should contact FDLE’s Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse at 888-356-4774, or the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500.
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[Feature Photo: Taylor Williams/Police Handout]