Arrest warrant for sailor with missing 5-year-old daughter details felony neglect, lying charges
By THERESA BRAINE | New York Daily News | Published: November 14, 2019
(Tribune News Service) —Five-year-old Taylor Williams was routinely left alone, and her extended family had not seen her in months, according to the arrest warrant issued for her mother, Petty Officer Brianna Williams.
Bail was set at $1 million, according to the warrant. The 27-year-old sailor remained hospitalized in Jacksonville, Fla., after an apparent overdose, The Florida Times-Union reported Wednesday, and missed a scheduled court date.
Police were still conducting forensic tests to definitively identify the remains of a girl found in rural Alabama, near where Williams had family. But authorities said Tuesday they believed the remains found in a wooded area were those of Taylor.
Williams had reported her daughter missing last week, alleging she had last seen her the night before, when she'd put her to bed. Williams, assigned to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, went back to work as police searched, never made a public plea for her daughter's return and stopped cooperating a day after filing the missing-child report.
The warrant details the apparent falsehoods that Williams told police and contains assertions from a neighbor that he had seen Taylor alone on several occasions, once even wandering around outside "looking for my Momma," still in her pajamas — the same ones she would later be reported missing in.
Williams had recently moved from another apartment complex, and police contacted a former neighbor of hers who said he had "witnessed Taylor Rose alone and wandering the apartment complex on more than one occasion," the warrant stated.
It recounted how the neighbor, identified only as A.B., recalled being on the phone to wish his mother a happy birthday on April 17 this year, and for the first time saw Taylor alone and unsupervised.
Sitting outside on his balcony, he saw Taylor wandering up the stairs from the breezeway and asked her, "Hey sweetie, what are you doing?" She said she was looking for her mother.
He hung up with his mother, took her back to her apartment, and made sure the door was locked, he told police. He saw her alone on numerous other occasions as well, he said, "at least every other day," according to the warrant.
He had last seen the two of them together on May 21, and that was the last time he'd seen the girl at all, A.B. told police. Williams told him that Taylor was in Alabama with her grandparents.
Likewise, the warrant stated, she told police that Taylor had been with Williams' mother for the past month in Alabama. But relatives denied this.
"Both maternal and paternal grandparents have indicated that they have not seen Taylor Rose in over a year," the warrant said. "Williams' mother has denied taking care of Taylor this past year, explaining that she last saw Taylor Rose in January 2019."
Police emphasized that there was a "staggering" amount of information to sort through, and that the investigation was extensive and ongoing.
"We are nowhere near done in this investigation," said Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams at Tuesday's press conference. "And while we've taken some steps today, we've got a lot of work left to do."
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