The aunt of a missing Florida girl says she thinks a man may hold the information needed to find the child.
First Coast News reports that 5-year-old Taylor Williams’ aunt, Tonisha Williams, said that she hasn’t seen her niece in over two years, although she tried numerous times. Tonisha’s sister, Brianna Williams, is the mother of Taylor, a little girl reported missing from the Brentwood area of Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday.
Tonisha said that she doesn’t think Williams would have harmed Taylor by herself. She said a man Williams started dating, however, could have played a part in the girl’s disappearance. Although Tonisha didn’t know or didn’t provide the man’s name, she told the outlet that Williams had been dating him for around six months.
Tonisha also said Williams told police that their mother took care of Taylor at the end of October. However, it was all a lie, according to Williams’ sister.
“There’s no way that’s true,” Tonisha said. “I asked my mom, ‘do you think somebody did something to her because she had this stuck in her mind, “okay I picked Taylor up.'”
Tonisha said not only had she not seen the little girl in years, but she hardly had contact with Williams after the woman moved from Alabama to Florida. She added that the family had to text Williams and press her for information. Sometimes Williams answered back, but she reportedly never sent photos or updates about Taylor.
“The only way we would hear from her is if we were reaching out to her. We were asking, ‘how y’all doing? How is Taylor? Send me pictures’… I never got it. It was always an excuse and now this. None of it is making sense.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Williams, a Petty Officer 1st Class at NAS Jacksonville, initially cooperated with investigators after she reported that her daughter disappeared from their Brentwood home. Williams claimed when she checked on Taylor on Wednesday morning, she was not in her room and the back door was unlocked.
Authorities said Williams stopped cooperating when they informed her that her story didn’t add up. Since then, she’s been staying on base. She also hasn’t returned Tonisha’s latest text messages.
“I sent her a [text] message asking, ‘Bri, what’s wrong? We’re here for you. You can talk to me,” Tonisha said. “Basically, telling her help me help her find the baby.”
Taylor’s paternal grandfather also said it’s been close to two years since he’s seen his granddaughter. 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.
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.
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.”
Meanwhile, a cadaver dog reportedly 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.
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.
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
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.
November 12, 2019
- Authorities said a possible press conference in Alabama could be held, although no exact time was given.
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]