The mother of missing Florida girl Taylor Rose Williams has been arrested and charged after authorities discovered human remains that they believe may belong to the child.
Brianna Williams, who reported her 5-year-old daughter missing on Nov. 6, was arrested and charged with child neglect and giving false information to investigators, authorities announced during a press conference Tuesday. News of the arrest came hours after police revealed that they’d discovered human remains in a wooded area in Alabama, in an area between Linden and Demopolis.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said that Brianna Williams was currently at a hospital in Florida, and was absentee booked during her treatment for “an apparent overdose of some sort.” He went on to say that it is currently unclear if Brianna Williams, who was admitted on Tuesday, had attempted to end her own life.
“Only she knows that,” he said later. “I know there was what appears to be an overdose or she’s ingested something. We don’t know as of yet.”
Authorities have stated that the remains discovered Tuesday morning are that of a child; the remains “may be” Taylor’s, Sheriff Williams said, but authorities are unable to confirm the identity of the victim until forensic analysis is complete. It is currently unclear how long that process will take.
The Demopolis Police Department confirmed that, following the discovery of the remains, multiple agencies have been working together to secure the area and collect evidence.
Brianna Williams called police in the early morning hours of Nov. 6 to report that her daughter had gone missing from her bedroom and that the back door of their home was unlocked. Authorities quickly issued an Amber Alert and hundreds of law enforcement officers joined in the search for Taylor, which soon spread from Jacksonville, Florida to Alabama, where Brianna Williams used to live.
Authorities announced last week that Brianna Williams had stopped cooperating with investigators after they began questioning her about “some inconsistencies in her statement.” Not long after, she was officially named a person of interest in the case, with authorities stating that she was the last person to see her daughter alive. Investigators also asked for the public’s help in identifying a timeline in connection to Taylor’s disappearance, requesting anyone who had seen the mother and child together over the last two weeks to come forward.
Melissa Nelson, state attorney for Florida's fourth judicial circuit, on Tuesday thanked the many agencies who joined in the search for Taylor, but expressed her regret at the tragic culmination to the case.
“This is obviously not the outcome any of us had hoped to reach,” she said. She added later, “This investigation has led us to what we believe to be the remains of Taylor Rose.”
Brianna Williams has been a petty officer first class at the Tactical Operations Center at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, and continued to live and work there as the investigation unfolded, according to NBC News.
She is scheduled to make her first court appearance Wednesday afternoon, News 4 Jax reports.
Sheriff Williams said Tuesday that authorities are “nowhere near done” with their investigation, and that there is “a lot of work left to do” on the case.
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