Human remains were found in Alabama Tuesday in the search for a 5-year-old Florida girl who disappeared earlier this month, according to officials, who say the girl’s mother, a Navy petty officer, is a person of interest in the case.
Taylor Williams was reported missing from her home in Jacksonville last Wednesday by her mother, Brianna Williams, who said she last saw the girl in her bed the night before. On Monday, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams — of no relation to the family — announced that the search for the girl expanded into Alabama and that her mother was no longer cooperating with their investigation.
Authorities said Tuesday that human remains were discovered in a wooded area near the cities of Demopolis and Linden in Alabama, the Demopolis Police Department wrote on Facebook. The remains are pending identification, officials said.
Brianna Williams was assigned to the tactical operations center at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in April 2018, and was enlisted in the Navy seven years ago, military officials said. She was still reporting for duty as of Tuesday morning, WJXT reported.
The sheriff said Taylor Williams’ father, who reportedly hadn’t seen the child in two years, and her family have been cooperating. But Brianna Williams, they said, hasn’t spoken to investigators since last week, when she allegedly stopped cooperating with detectives after they noted she had apparent inconsistencies in her story.
Several different units, including search and rescue teams, police departments, sheriff’s offices, and the FBI, have been working to locate the 5-year-old. Their search brought them to Demopolis, a city more than a seven-hour drive northwest.
Authorities earlier said they received hundreds of tips related to Taylor’s disappearance, but nothing that led them to the child. On Monday, Sheriff Williams said investigators “absolutely hope to find her alive.”
Anyone with information on Taylor Williams’ disappearance is urged to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or [email protected]
Fox News’ Talia Kaplan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.