The mother of a missing Florida girl is facing charges after law enforcement found human remains on Tuesday in Alabama. Authorities said they believe the remains are of 5-year-old Taylor Williams, who was reported missing nearly a week ago.
Charged against 27-year-old Brianna Williams include child neglect and providing false information to authorities. During a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said that many things led to charges against Williams, including evidence found and information from other people.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Williams attempted to kill herself, according to law enforcement sources, within hours after officials found the remains. Authorities were en route to arrest Williams when the incident occurred. She’s currently in the emergency room at UF Health in critical condition.
It’s unclear what Williams reportedly overdosed on.
Search crews found human remains in Demopolis, Alabama, where Williams is from. Officials were searching the area in hopes of finding Taylor.
Authorities cannot yet confirm that the remains are definitely Taylor. However, they said they do believe they found the missing girl deceased.
“The exact identification of the victim will be made pending some detailed forensic analysis of the remains,” the sheriff said.
Williams, a Petty Officer 1st Class at NAS Jacksonville, told police she last saw Taylor in her bedroom at around midnight on Wednesday in their Brentwood, Florida, home. Williams said that by morning, an exterior door had been opened and Taylor had disappeared.
Williams 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.
“Yesterday we were talking to her about some inconsistencies in her statement and that’s when she chose to stop cooperating with us,” Mike Williams said on Thursday.
Taylor’s aunt and Brianna Williams’ sister, Tonisha Williams, said that she hasn’t seen her niece in over two years, although she tried numerous times.
The woman that she didn’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 she moved with Taylor 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.”
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.
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.
The story continues to develop. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Taylor Williams/Police Handout]