Investigators are searching for a Florida brother and sister who disappeared Sunday just before noon while they were playing outside in the front yard of their Jacksonville home.
Braxton Williams, 6, and Bri’ya Williams, 5, were last seen around 11:30 a.m. in front of their home in the Paradise Village mobile home park, according to a statement from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The family contacted authorities around 1:30 p.m. after they were unable to find the siblings.
A massive search effort—including K-9 teams, dive teams, drones and officers on the ground—is now underway to try to find the missing children.
Sheriff Mike Williams said in a recent press conference that investigators are searching a “very dense wooded area” to the north of the mobile home, along with abandoned cars and trailers in the trailer park.
Authorities have also been in “heavy contact” with registered sex offenders living in the area around the children’s home.
“Right now, everything is an option. We are working multiple scenarios; foul play could be a factor obviously at this point. We don’t know,” Williams said of the disappearance.
Williams said the family has remained cooperative with “every effort” of the investigation and that at this point, investigators have “no indication” that anyone close to the children is involved in the disappearance.
The children’s paternal grandmother Roxanne Lloyd told local station WJXT-TV that her son had been planning to barbecue at the family’s home when the children vanished.
“My son told me that they was fixing to get ready to have a barbecue and the kids was right outside the door, which is probably only steps away from the kitchen. You know, he could look out the kitchen window and see the kids, and he said that he went in the house briefly to get the meat, and when he came back out, they was gone just that quick,” she said. “We’re asking for all prayers.”
The family, she told WJAX-TV, has been devastated by the disappearances.
“We haven’t slept. We haven’t eaten. We are worried about our babies,” Lloyd said. “We want everybody to be praying and if anybody sees them please contact JSO.”
Authorities have said Braxton is on the Autism Spectrum but will communicate with others. Lloyd described him as the more quiet one of the pair, while Bri’ya is more outgoing.
“Happy kids, you know. Just basic kids. They loved to play, you know,” she said.
Authorities initially described Braxton as wearing a red sweater and blue jeans, but later discovered the red sweater in the family’s home. He is 3’4” tall, weighing 40 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. His sister is believed to be wearing a grey sweater with multi-colored writing on it and leggings. She’s described as being 3 feet tall, weighing 30 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
Authorities are asking that the public remain vigilant and contact investigators if they have any information about the disappearance.
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