The mother of a missing Florida girl has officially been declared a person of interest due to her alleged unwillingness to cooperate with the investigation into her daughter’s disappearance.
Authorities issued an Amber Alert last week after Brianna Williams reported that her 5-year-old daughter, Taylor Rose Williams, had gone missing, according to WJXT. She alerted police on Wednesday morning, and claimed that she’d woken up to find her daughter missing from her bedroom and the back door of the home unlocked, the outlet reports.
Despite a search involving hundreds of law enforcement officers, the child has not been located; now, days after announcing that Brianna Williams had ceased cooperating, authorities have stated that she is now being looked at as a person of interest.
“She is a person of interest in this case and we still need her cooperation in our efforts,” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said during a press conference Monday. “And we’re still also asking for the public’s help with providing us any details related to Taylor’s whereabouts.”
Brianna Williams was the last person to see her daughter alive, the sheriff said. Authorities are now encouraging anyone who may have seen the mother and daughter together in the last two weeks, possibly traveling between the Jacksonville area and Alabama, to reach out with whatever they know.
Authorities also believe that Brianna Williams may have been driving a black 2017 Honda Accord, Sheriff Williams said.
The search for the child has also expanded from the Jacksonville area to Demopolis, Alabama and its surroundings, according to NBC News. The FBI, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and other agencies have reportedly also joined in the effort.
Following reports that Taylor had vanished, more than 300 officers have been involved in trying to find her. Authorities said last week that they do not believe that Taylor “walked away” from the house of her own accord, but details regarding their suspicions remain sparse.
Brianna Williams, a petty officer first class at the Tactical Operations Center at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, has remained on the military base for the duration of the investigation, according to NBC News. She stopped cooperating with authorities after investigators brought up “some inconsistencies in her statement” during questioning, Sheriff Williams previously said.
While authorities have not specified what information led them to expand the search to Alabama, they remain hopeful that Taylor is still alive.
“The information that drove us to Alabama demanded this kind of response and we absolutely hope to find her alive,” Sheriff Williams said.
Taylor has brown skin and eyes, is three feet tall, and weighs 50 pounds, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement previously said. She was last seen wearing pink and purple pajamas with short sleeves. Anyone with information on her whereabouts should contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or call 911.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.