Human remains discovered in a wooded area in west Alabama have been confirmed as the five-year-old girl who went missing from her home in Jacksonville, Florida earlier this month.
Searchers discovered the remains 500 miles away six days after Taylor Rose Williams vanished on November 6.
Around the time of the discovery her Petty Navy Officer mother Brianna Williams, 27, attempted suicide as police prepared to charge her with child neglect and giving false information to law enforcement.
Thirteen days later, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office have called off the Amber Alert and announced they were now investigating a homicide.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has cancelled an Amber Alert and said Monday the Taylor Rose Williams missing person case is now a death Investigation. The child’s mother Brianna Williams, 27, was still not cooperating cops said
Earlier this month human remains were discovered in Demopolis, Alabama, 500 miles away from where she went missing in Jacksonville, Florida. On Monday it was confirmed as Taylor
JSO Chief of Detectives T.K. Water said Monday that the child was identified via DNA test but said her cause of death had not been determined.
He said they were preparing to tell Williams about the ID and confirmed she was still not cooperating with authorities.
Water would not reveal how they were led to the remains but said they are committed to getting justice for the child.
Williams had reported Taylor missing but the mother stopped cooperating with detectives after being questioned about inconsistencies in her story.
Williams had been named as a person of interest in her daughter’s disappearance.
The search was expanded to rural Alabama and within a 25-mile radius of the mother’s hometown Linden and Demopolis where she has friends.
The identification comes a few days after Williams was transferred to the Duval County jail following nine days at a local hospital being treated for an apparent overdose.
Williams was on life support but currently remains jailed on $1.1million bond.
The discovery of the remains were more than 500 miles away from her home in Jacksonville, Florida
Police said the remains were identified using DNA tests but haven’t shared the cause of death
The remains were found six days after Williams reported Taylor missing. Investigators are pictured at the scene of the recovery
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams previously said Williams had not spoken with detectives since the day she reported her daughter missing.
Investigators said no one else is currently in custody in relation to Taylor’s disappearance.
Williams had claimed she put Taylor to bed that night but woke up the following morning to find the little girl wasn’t in her room and the back door of their home was wide open.
Since reporting her daughter missing, authorities said Williams had been staying at the Jacksonville naval air base where she works.
Investigators had issued an alert on Monday asking whether anyone had seen the child and her mother in a black Honda Accord between Jacksonville and Alabama within the past two weeks.
State, federal and local authorities from Alabama and Florida assisted in the search, which included officers walking through a drainage pond near the child’s home in Jacksonville.
JSO Chief of Detectives T.K. Water said Monday they were preparing to tell Williams about the ID and confirmed she was still not cooperating with authorities
Williams, who is a Naval Petty Officer in Florida, was transferred from hospital to jail last Thursday after she appeared to have attempted suicide around the time she was charged with child neglect and giving false information
Authorities wouldn’t previously elaborate on how long the remains appeared to have been in that location.
Sheriff Williams previously revealed it may have been months since Taylor had been seen by anyone other than her mother.
At least one person has come forward to say they she saw Taylor on June 5 at an on-base daycare facility that her own child also attends at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
‘The kids were in the same class all year long, so I had seen her basically every day until the last day of day care,’ the woman told Action News Jacksonville.
It is not clear if Taylor was enrolled in school for the fall.
Williams moved house within Jacksonville on November 3 and a woman who helped her re-locate said she didn’t see Taylor during that time.
Investigators had issued an alert asking whether anyone had seen the child and her mother in a black Honda Accord between Jacksonville and Alabama within the past weeks
Investigators are pictured searching the area where Williams had most recently lived with her daughter before relocating to another part of Jacksonville, Florida
‘We never saw a child. We never heard a child. Nothing,’ Tiffani Nicole, who was hired to help on the move, told WJXT-TV.
‘I was assuming the kid was in day care, or the child was with a friend, so she can get her apartment cleaned out.’
Nicole said Williams’ house was messy and that she was behaving strangely.
‘It honestly looked like she had been recently evicted or something because it was not well lived-in if there was a child there,’ Nicole said.
‘There was old food all over the floor, underneath the couches. There was trash everywhere.’
Nicole said she did help move a toddler’s bed.
Neighbors at Williams’ new home said they hadn’t seen the young girl since the mother moved in.
Detectives were trying to speak to Taylor’s biological father, Maurice Tate, who lives in Alabama.
Family members in Alabama said he hasn’t seen his daughter in about two years since Williams moved from that state to Jacksonville.
Taylor was last seen wearing a purple shirt and pink pajama bottoms. Authorities describe her as being three-feet tall, weighing 50 pounds and having brown eyes and black hair