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Mother is named person of interest in disappearance of 5-year-old Florida girl

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Authorities have extended the search for Taylor Rose Williams (pictured) into Alabama after she was reported missing last week

Authorities have extended the search for Taylor Rose Williams (pictured) into Alabama after she was reported missing last week 

The mother of a missing Florida girl has been named a person of interest in the child’s disappearance as authorities expand the search for the five-year-old to Alabama. 

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said during a news conference Monday that officers have been deployed to Demopolis, Alabama, west of Montgomery. 

Williams says Taylor Williams, who is not related to the sheriff, was reported missing from her Jacksonville home last week.

The sheriff says Taylor’s mother, Naval Petty Officer 1st Class Brianna Williams, has not spoken with investigators since that day and is no longer cooperating with their investigation. 

‘We still need her cooperation,’ Sheriff Williams said Monday.

The sheriff is asking the public to contact his office if anyone has seen the mother and daughter between Alabama and Florida in the past two weeks.

Authorities have also been searching for the girl in Georgia. Sheriff Williams says they’re still hoping to find the girl alive. 

Taylor was reported missing in Jacksonville, Florida, at around 7.22am last Wednesday by her mother.

Brianna Williams claimed that she had put Taylor to bed the prior evening, but woke up the next morning and noticed the girl wasn’t in her room and the back door of their home was wide open. 

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Naval Petty Officer 1st Class Brianna Williams (above), who claimed she woke up and noticed her daughter wasn't in her room and the back door to their home was wide open, is now a person of interest after she stopped cooperating with investigators

Naval Petty Officer 1st Class Brianna Williams (above), who claimed she woke up and noticed her daughter wasn’t in her room and the back door to their home was wide open, is now a person of interest after she stopped cooperating with investigators 

Reports indicate that cadaver dogs were alerted to signs of decomposition in the trunk of Brianna Williams' car. The car was towed from the home by police on Wednesday (above)

Reports indicate that cadaver dogs were alerted to signs of decomposition in the trunk of Brianna Williams’ car. The car was towed from the home by police on Wednesday (above)

Last Thursday, Sheriff Williams said it may have been months since anyone besides Brianna Williams last seen Taylor. 

In a bleak development, a cadaver dog picked up on scents in the trunk of Williams’ car, sources told WJXT-TV.

Although authorities haven’t confirmed the accuracy of the statement, they towed Williams’ car from her home in the Brentwood neighborhood on Wednesday. 

‘There’s not one scenario of theory that we’re not exploring, and every possibility is being looked at,’ the sheriff said at a press conference.   

Asked if he could confirm when Taylor was last seen by anyone other than her mother, the sheriff said: ‘We don’t know. So that is part of what we are digging into.’

At least one community member has come forward to say that she saw Taylor on June 5 at an on-base daycare that her own child also attended on Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

‘The kids were in the same class all year long, so I had seen her basically every day until the last day’ of day care, the mother told Action News Jacksonville. 

The sheriff (pictured) is asking the public to contact his office if anyone has seen the mother and daughter between Alabama and Florida in the past two weeks

The sheriff (pictured) is asking the public to contact his office if anyone has seen the mother and daughter between Alabama and Florida in the past two weeks

Authorities have also been searching for the girl in Georgia. Sheriff Williams says they're still hoping to find the girl alive. Taylor was reported missing in Jacksonville, Florida (searchers pictured in Jacksonville), at around 7.22am last Wednesday by her mother

Authorities have also been searching for the girl in Georgia. Sheriff Williams says they’re still hoping to find the girl alive. Taylor was reported missing in Jacksonville, Florida (searchers pictured in Jacksonville), at around 7.22am last Wednesday by her mother

Law enforcement investigators are seen in the Southside Villas apartment complex off Southside Blvd in Jacksonville, Florida, on November 6

Law enforcement investigators are seen in the Southside Villas apartment complex off Southside Blvd in Jacksonville, Florida, on November 6

Neighbors at the new Ivy Street home, where Brianna Williams moved on Sunday, say they never saw the girl. Women are seen gathering on the street on Thursday awaiting updates

Neighbors at the new Ivy Street home, where Brianna Williams moved on Sunday, say they never saw the girl. Women are seen gathering on the street on Thursday awaiting updates

However, it’s unclear whether Taylor was ever enrolled in school for the fall, and investigators are trying to piece together her mother’s movements in recent months. 

On Sunday, Brianna Williams moved within Jacksonville from Southside Villas to her Ivy Street home in Brentwood.

However, a woman who helped her on the move says that she did not see the little girl during the move. 

‘We never saw a child. We never heard a child. Nothing,’ Tiffani Nicole, who was hired to help on the move, told WJXT-TV

‘I was assuming the kid was in day care, or the child was with a friend, so she can get her apartment cleaned out.’ 

Nicole said Brianna Williams’ house was messy, and the child’s mother was behaving strangely.

‘It honestly looked like she had been recently evicted or something because it was not well lived-in if there was a child there,’ Nicole said. 

‘There was old food all over the floor, underneath the couches. There was trash everywhere.’

However, one of the items that Nicole helped move was a toddler’s bed, she said. 

Neighbors at Brianna Williams’ new home in Brentwood said that they hadn’t seen the young girl since the mother moved in on Sunday. 

Taylor

Taylor and Brianna Williams

Taylor (left, and right with her mother) was last seen by someone other than her mother in June

Taylor was last seen wearing a purple shirt and pink pajama bottoms.

Authorities describe her as being three-feet tall, weighing 50 pounds and having brown eyes and black hair

Taylor was last seen wearing a purple shirt and pink pajama bottoms. Authorities describe her as being three-feet tall, weighing 50 pounds and having brown eyes and black hair

Firefighters walk down Ivy Street in Jacksonville in the search for Taylor who was reported missing last Wednesday

Firefighters walk down Ivy Street in Jacksonville in the search for Taylor who was reported missing last Wednesday 

Detectives are also trying to speak with Taylor’s biological father, Maurice Tate, who lives in Alabama. 

Family members in Alabama said he hasn’t seen his daughter in roughly two years, after Brianna Williams moved from that state to Jacksonville.

Sheriff Williams was quick to point out that Brianna Williams has not been arrested or charged, despite refusing to cooperate after investigators pointed out inconsistencies in her statements.

‘Here’s what we know: We know that Brianna Williams was the last person to see Taylor, and we need for her to cooperate with us in this investigation,’ Sheriff Williams said.

‘Nothing’s off the table. We won’t take the steps to say she’s a suspect. We know her daughter is missing and she was the last person to see her. We know she didn’t walk away.’ 

The sheriff’s office also refused to comment on whether there had been any reported cases of child abuse or neglect filed against Brianna, or on the conditions inside the woman’s home. 

The mother had previously listed an advertisement seeking childcare on Craigslist, Sheriff Williams acknowledged. 

Taylor was last seen wearing a purple shirt and pink pajama bottoms. 

Authorities describe her as being three-feet tall, weighing 50 pounds and having brown eyes and black hair. 

Anyone who has seen Taylor or may have information on her whereabouts is urged to contact Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office immediately at 904-630-0500. 

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