Navy petty officer is person of interest in 5-year-old daughter's disappearance: sheriff

A Navy petty officer in Florida is a person of interest in the disappearance of her 5-year-old daughter, Taylor Williams, authorities announced on Monday.

During a news conference on Monday, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams told reporters that the search for the missing girl is expanding to Alabama and that her mother is no longer cooperating with their investigation.

Taylor Williams, 5, was reported missing from her Jacksonville home last Wednesday.

Taylor Williams, 5, was reported missing from her Jacksonville home last Wednesday. (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

“As of today, Taylor’s mother, Brianna Williams, remains uncooperative with this investigation. She has not spoken with us since Wednesday and she was the last person to see Taylor,” Sheriff Williams, who is not related to the family, said at the news conference. “She is a person of interest in this case and we still need her cooperation in our efforts.”

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Williams said officers have been deployed to Demopolis, Ala., est of Montgomery.

The girl was reported missing from her Jacksonville home last Wednesday.

Law enforcement investigators in dry suits search the small retention pond near the entrance of the Southside Villas apartment complex off Southside Blvd. in Jacksonville, Florida Wednesday afternoon, November 6, 2019. 

Law enforcement investigators in dry suits search the small retention pond near the entrance of the Southside Villas apartment complex off Southside Blvd. in Jacksonville, Florida Wednesday afternoon, November 6, 2019.  (Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

At a news conference last week, Williams accused the petty officer of lying when she said she last saw Taylor around midnight Tuesday as she put her to bed, The Florida Times-Union reported.

Sheriff Williams asked for the public’s help on Monday and urged anyone with information to call the sheriff’s office.

Authorities believe Brianna Williams, 27, traveled to Alabama in her black 2017 Honda Accord with Florida tag QNBRI.

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The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office posted a photo of the car on Facebook on Monday and wrote, “If you have seen Taylor Williams with her mother, Brianna Williams, between Jacksonville, FL and Alabama in the past 2 weeks, please contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.”

Authorities have also been searching for the girl in Georgia.

The FBI is assisting.

Mounted police join firefighters in Jacksonville in the search for 5-year-old Taylor Rose Williams who went missing around midnight Wednesday, November 6, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Mounted police join firefighters in Jacksonville in the search for 5-year-old Taylor Rose Williams who went missing around midnight Wednesday, November 6, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

“We absolutely hope to find her alive,” Williams told reporters on Monday.

He said that Brianna Williams is currently on a Navy base and is not in custody or naval confinement.

Navy officials said Brianna Williams was assigned to the tactical operations center at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in April 2018, the paper reported. She enlisted in the Navy seven years ago.

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Fox News’ Robert Gearty and The Associated Press contributed to this report.