Missing girl's mother received 9 awards in 7 years in Navy

5-year-old Taylor reported missing from Jacksonville home early Wednesday

The search for a missing 5-year-old Jacksonville girl entered its third day Friday, the day after Sheriff Mike Williams announced Thursday that Taylor Rose Williams' mother had stopped cooperating with investigators.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We've known the mother of 5-year-old Taylor Rose Williams, whose disappearance sparked an Amber Alert and massive search this week, was a petty officer 1st class based at NAS Jacksonville, but the I-TEAM has learned more about her history in Jacksonville and her exemplary record in the Navy.

A Navy spokesman said Brianna Williams has returned to work after spending time with police the day she reported Taylor missing.

Biographical data obtained from the Navy shows Brianna Williams has been on active duty since 2012 and was stationed at NAS Pensacola and Naval Station Norfolk before moving to Jacksonville in April 2018. We know she lived at Southside Villas, an apartment complex on Southside Boulevard near Baymeadows Road, before moving to the home on Ivy Street in Brentwood last weekend.

A former valedictorian at her high school in Alabama, Brianna Williams has received nine awards for her naval service and was deployed overseas twice. Her awards range from a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal to a National Defense Service Medal.

Her Brentwood neighbors have said they did not see her daughter at the home in the days before Brianna Williams reported Taylor missing at 7:22 a.m. Wednesday.

"My kids play out here often, and they didn’t see any child," Jenae Singleton said. "It’s really sad because it’s close ... too close for comfort for me."

On Thursday, when Sheriff Mike Williams announced Brianna Williams stopped cooperating with detectives when they pointed out inconsistencies in her stories, he added that she is not considered a suspect. At this point, no one has been arrested or implicated in Taylor's disappearance. 

On Friday, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry joined in offering support for the search efforts and offering prayers for Taylor's safe return.

"It’s terrible," Curry said. "I’ve been in touch with the sheriff every day since the search began. They are in the same scenario, same situation. They are asking people in the public to if anyone has seen her with her mom in the last six months to reach out to JSO, but our first responders and people in the community are out looking."

More on the search for Taylor Rose Williams

PRINT/SHARE: Click for printable FDLE missing child flyer
RELATED: Sheriff: Taylor Rose Williams' mother has stopped cooperating |
What we know about missing 5-year-old's family |
Timeline of the investigation
Volunteers scour Brentwood neighborhood |
Woman says she helped girl's mother move, never saw child | 
5-year-old's disappearance chilling reminder of past cases | 
What qualifies for an Amber Alert?
GALLERIES: Police swarm neighborhood | Hundreds join search | Taylor Rose Williams

About the Authors:

Kelly Wiley, an award-winning investigative reporter, joined the News4Jax I-Team in June 2019.