Sailor with missing 5-year-old daughter arrested as police work to identify human remains

An undated photograph shows Brianna Williams and her daughter, Taylor Williams.


By THERESA BRAINE | New York Daily News | Published: November 13, 2019

(Tribune News Service) The mother of missing 5-year-old Taylor Rose Williams was arrested Tuesday evening on charges of child neglect and giving false information to investigators, according to law enforcement officials.

Petty Officer Brianna Williams was hospitalized earlier Tuesday after an apparent overdose as police searching for her daughter worked to identify human remains found in rural Alabama, said Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams in a press conference. Mike Williams is not related to Brianna Williams.

Two law enforcement officials told WJXX-TV that Brianna Williams, stationed at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla., had been taken to the hospital as officers were en route to arrest the 27-year-old.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that remains had been found in a wooded area of Alabama between the towns of Linden and Demopolis, where the girl’s mother has family.

Definitive identification was pending, but police had been honing in on the area since Williams reported her daughter missing last week.

“The multi-agency investigative team involved in the search for missing Taylor Rose Williams confirmed that search teams uncovered human remains in a wooded area between the cities of Linden and Demopolis, Alabama,” the Jacksonville Police Department announced in a statement on Facebook. “Victim identification is pending.”

Taylor had allegedly vanished from her bedroom overnight a week ago. Her mother reported her missing Nov. 6, saying that she had last seen the girl at around midnight the previous evening, when she put her to bed. Morning brought no sign of the girl, her mother told police. The back door was unlocked.

But when confronted with inconsistencies in her story, Brianna Williams clammed up, then holed up on the Navy base where she works, police said. She then became a “person of interest,” police announced Monday.

Brianna Williams’ Jacksonville neighbors told WJXX that they hadn’t seen the girl recently. Police on Monday asked the public to red-flag any sightings of Taylor traveling with her mother, specifically between Jacksonville and Alabama, in the two weeks leading up to her disappearance.

“At this point, JSO will await confirmation as forensics tests are completed,” the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Operational efforts will now shift to secure and process the evidence at the scene.”

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Taylor Rose Williams, 5, was reported missing on Nov. 6.

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