The mother of a missing 5-year-old Florida girl is now a person of interest, according to the Jacksonville State Police.
JSU announced during a Monday morning press conference that Taylor Williams’ mother, Brianna Williams, is still not cooperating with police. Williams reported her daughter missing on Wednesday. She claimed Taylor was in her room at midnight, but by the next morning, she had vanished.
“She is a person of interest in this case and we still need her cooperation in our efforts,” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said. “And we’re still asking for the public’s help with providing us any details related to Taylor’s whereabouts.”
If you have seen this vehicle between Jacksonville, FL and Alabama, please contact #JSO at 904-630-0500. The vehicle is described as a black 2017 Honda Accord displaying Florida Tag QNBRI. #FindTaylorWilliams https://t.co/rIhT3iOAUt pic.twitter.com/OhlyXIRTKT
— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) November 11, 2019
Williams, a Petty Officer 1st Class at NAS Jacksonville, initially cooperated with investigators. Authorities said she stopped cooperating when they informed her that her story didn’t add up. Since then, she’s been staying on base.
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.
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.
WATCH LIVE: Sheriff Mike Williamsis expected to hold a news conference between 1:30 p.m. and 1:40 p.m. to reveal new details in the search for5-year-old Taylor Williams.Today marks Day 6 in the search for Williams. Here's what we know so far: https://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/local/jso-sheriff-to-reveal-new-details-in-search-for-missing-5-year-old-taylor-williams/77-e58c96d9-8135-4c9b-b065-cf0ffa4f72e6
Posted by First Coast News on Monday, November 11, 2019
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.
November 11, 2019
- Authorities confirmed that they’ve expanded their search across three different states for Taylor, including Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
- Sheriff Williams announced that Brianna Williams is now a person of interest.
- Brianna Williams is still not cooperating with investigators.
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]