Warrant: Taylor Williams was left home alone 'at least every other day,' neighbor says

New warrant gives neighbor's side of missing 5-year-old Taylor Williams' story

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A warrant for Brianna Williams details what led to charges against her in the disappearance of her daughter, Taylor Rose Williams. Click here to read the warrant.

Brianna Williams is facing two counts of child neglect.

A neighbor who lived near Taylor and Brianna Williams told detectives he saw Taylor alone and wandering the apartment complex multiple times.

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The warrant says he first noticed Taylor alone on April 17, 2019.

He said he was sitting outside on his balcony talking on the phone around 8 a.m. when he noticed Taylor wandering up the stairs from the breezeway. He said Taylor was wearing the same pajamas described in the Amber Alert.

He asked her: "Hey sweetie, what are you doing?" and Taylor said: "Looking for my momma."

He took her back to her apartment and told her to lock the door. He described the inside of the apartment as cluttered with trash bags and boxes stacked on top of each other.

That neighbor said he continued to see Taylor home alone at least every other day, explaining that Taylor would wave to him from her apartment.

He said she was always wearing the same pajamas and holding the same doll. During these times, he said Brianna Williams' car was not in the apartment parking lot.

Action News Jax spoke to other residents at the apartment complex who also said they saw Brianna Williams.

One man, who asked to stay anonymous, said he would casually see Brianna in the parking lot near their buildings and exchange short conversations. He said the last time he saw Brianna with Taylor was during the Summer. 

"The little girl just got in the back seat whenever I'd see them in the car," he said. "The mom got in the front seat and just drove off."

He said the last time he saw Brianna was the Saturday of the Florida-Georgia game, and she was alone. 

"We just want answers," he said. "We just want to know what's going on."

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He said he saw Brianna Williams routinely get home between 6:30 and 7 p.m. carrying
food apparently for one person.

The neighbor told detectives he saw Taylor outside alone on at least two more occasions in May 2019.

He said he hasn't seen Taylor since May 21, 2019, which was also the last time he saw Brianna Williams and Taylor together.

He said he asked Brianna Williams several times where Taylor was. She reportedly said Taylor was in Alabama with her grandparents.

Brianna Williams is also charged with lying to police.

Her warrant says she gave numerous false statements to law enforcement officers about Taylor and her whereabouts before her reported disappearance.

Brianna Williams reportedly told detectives she drove to Tuscaloosa, Alabama on October 31, 2019 to pick up Taylor from her mother. She said her mom had been taking care of Taylor during October.

Brianna Williams' mother denied taking care of Taylor this past year, saying she last saw
Taylor in January 2019.

Detectives also asked Brianna Williams about child care over the last few months. She reportedly told them Taylor had been going to daycare at NAS Jax. Records reveal the last time Taylor was at daycare on base was April 29, 2019.

Taylor had also previously attended Kinder Garden, a daycare facility in Jacksonville. Detectives said records reveal the last time Taylor went to the facility was April 10, 2019.

Brianna Williams reportedly said when her work schedule changed, she pulled Taylor from regular daycare and had been taking her back and forth to Alabama for her mother to take care of her.

Both Taylor's maternal and paternal grandparents said they haven't seen Taylor in over
a year.

Brianna Williams' bond is set at $1.1 million. If released on bond, she would be placed on GPS monitoring.

As of Thursday afternoon, Williams had not yet been booked into the Duval County Jail and was still being treated at a Jacksonville hospital for an apparent overdose.

Sheriff Williams said she was taken to the hospital in serious condition Tuesday, the same day the announcement about the discovery of human remains came out.

JSO said they had not yet informed her of the charges before she was taken to the hospital.

JSO said Wednesday they couldn't give an update on her condition but when she is moved, her housing status will be updated on her booking sheet.

Her next court appearance is scheduled for December 4.

Experts speak to Action News Jax.

Action News Jax reporter Amber Krycka spoke to a wellness coach about what to do if you sense something may be wrong.

Sandra D. Johnson, a family emotional wellness coach at Madisel Group, said, "We have to get involved."

Johnson said we should pay attention and work to be good neighbors.

"I think it goes beyond a simple HI. It's how are you, but I want to wait and get an answer … not just say how are you? Can you really tell me how you really are," Johnson said. ‘Getting involved doesn't make you a bad person. Getting involved means I care enough."

According to the warrant, a neighbor told police he saw Taylor wandering around the complex during the day by herself, on more than one occasion. It also states this neighbor told police he took Taylor back to her mother's apartment and described it as "cluttered".

Action News Jax reporter Elizabeth Pace spoke to a former prosecutor and now Jacksonville attorney who had tried several child abuse cases. He said a "cluttered" home doesn't necessarily classify as child abuse or neglect.

"There is a line between an unkept house and a neglected house," Howell said. "The line is generally articulated as a situation that threatens the physical or emotional health of the child. The fact that a place is messy doesn't necessarily impact the physical or mental health of a child. But what kind of nourishment is available, what's in the refrigerator, is the place heated."

If a person suspects a child is being abused, neglected, or abandoned, that person is required to report it by state law.

"If the child is not clothed properly, if there's not any heat or air conditioning in the house, if there's not the right kind of food for children those all warrant the intervention of the system and that's why we have it," Howell said.

As to this neighbor listed in the warrant, Howell said it appeared he tried to do the right thing by getting Taylor back to her apartment. However, he said they would ask him to call and make a report as well.

"He did try to help her, and that was a good thing and a kind thing to do. We would like for him to call to get DCF or JSO out there, that is what our rules require."

Anyone who needs to make a report, can call the Abuse hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE, or find more information here.

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