Investigative teams searching rural Alabama for missing 5-year-old Taylor Rose Williams discovered human remains in a wooded area Tuesday morning, and hours later police in Jacksonville, Florida, arrested the girl's mother on charges of felony child neglect and giving false information to police.
The Demopolis Police Department in Alabama said it has not yet positively identified the remains found in a remote area of Marengo County.
A tip led members of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department's Urban Search and Rescue team to Demopolis on Monday to continue the search for Taylor, who has been missing since Nov. 6.
»PREVIOUS COVERAGE: In search for missing girl, police turn focus to mother
A day earlier, Jacksonville police declared Taylor's mother, Brianna Williams, a person of interest in the case.
Authorities became suspicious of Williams when she stopped cooperating with the investigation after detectives pointed out inconsistencies in her story, said Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, who announced Williams’ arrest Tuesday night.
Brianna Williams grew up in the Demopolis area and still has friends there, according to reports.
On Tuesday afternoon, blue tarps and crime scene tape were set up as law enforcement officials processed the scene. An Alabama State Bureau of Investigations crime scene van later arrived to assist the investigation.
Back in Jacksonville, local media outlets reported that Brianna Williams apparently overdosed Tuesday and had to be airlifted to UF Health Jacksonville from the U.S. Naval Air Reserve Station, where she is a chief petty officer. Navy officials say she reported to work as usual at the Tactical Operations Center on Tuesday morning.
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Brianna Williams initially told police she put Taylor to bed about midnight the night before she vanished. By the time she checked the child’s bedroom about 7:20 a.m. Wednesday, the girl was already missing, she said. The back door to the home had been unlocked.
Records show Williams called the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office minutes later, at 7:22 a.m.
Florida AMBER ALERT - Please Share This Post!— FDLE (@fdlepio) November 6, 2019
The Missing Child Alert for 5-year-old Taylor Williams has been upgraded to a Florida AMBER Alert. #FLAMBER
If you have any information about this child, please call Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or 911. pic.twitter.com/sZRYSqJboy
From there, more than 100 police officers, K-9 teams, firefighters and people in the community handed out flyers, knocked on doors and searched the area for two days, hoping for any sign of the girl. At the same time, investigators searched small bodies of water near an apartment complex where Williams lived recently. Taylor was last seen wearing purple and pink short-sleeved pajamas. An Amber Alert remains in effect
Police are asking anyone with information to call 904-630-0500 or 866-845-TIPS. There's a $4,000 Crime Stoppers reward for information that leads to Taylor.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com