DEMOPOLIS, Ala. – After a child's remains were found Tuesday in a wooded area in Alabama, a man who leases property nearby said investigators would have had to know exactly where they were looking to find anything out there.
Teams from Jacksonville traveled to rural Alabama this week in the search for missing 5-year-old Taylor Rose Williams.
Authorities announced Tuesday that remains had been found in a wooded area of Marengo County, where the girl's mother was originally from. They are still awaiting an official idea from forensic analysis, but Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said they believe the remains are Taylor's.
Taylor's mother, Brianna Williams, who reported the girl missing from her Jacksonville home six days ago, was charged Tuesday with giving false information to police and child neglect. She was absentee booked after an apparent overdose at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, where she works as a petty officer first class, Sheriff Williams said.
The remains were found on County Road 55 off Highway 28 in Marengo County, according to the Demopolis Police Department.
Terry Randall, who leases the land next door, told News4Jax he saw crews searching on his land on Sunday and walked around with them as they looked for Taylor.
"Some kind of agent told me ... they were looking for a body, and that's how I found out about it," Randall said.
According to Randall, the remains were found about a half a mile away from his property on Landfill Road. He said the area is very remote and wooded.
He said someone would have to know where they were searching in order to find something out there.
Randall said he hadn't heard Taylor's name before he spotted the investigators searching for her.
Now, he said, he'll think of her every time he passes the property.
"I won't ever forget that name," he said. "I'll always think about her when I go by."
Sheriff Williams told reporters last week that Brianna Williams stopped cooperating with the investigation after the first day of the search and was considered a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance.
News4Jax was told last week that a cadaver dog alerted on the trunk of the mother's car, a black 2017 Honda Accord, which was towed from her Brentwood home last week.
Sheriff Williams said Monday that a tip led them to deploy dozens of members of the Jacksonville Fire-Rescue Urban Search and Rescue team to Alabama, near towns where Brianna Williams grew up and still has friends. Family members told News4Jax that the 27-year-old mother's phone pinged in the area.
JSO asked anyone who saw Taylor and her mother together between Jacksonville and Alabama in the last two weeks to call the Sheriff's Office with that information. The sheriff said Brianna Williams was believed to have been driving her Honda Accord, which has tinted windows and black rims.
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Search teams, with the assistance of K-9s and some high-tech tools, began at daybreak Tuesday searching a 25-mile radius between Demopolis, where Brianna Williams has friends, and her hometown of Linden.
JSO homicide and missing persons detectives and 38 members of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department's Search and Rescue Team traveled to the area on Monday and set up a command post at the Demopolis Sport Complex.
"The information that drove us to Alabama demanded this response," Sheriff Williams said.
Police said Brianna Williams' family and that of Taylor's biological father are cooperating in their investigation.
FBI Jacksonville Special Agent in Charge Rachel Rojas said they are offering any and all assistance, both locally and in Alabama.
"We’ve called upon several of our skilled teams, including the FBI child abduction response team, the cellular analysis survey team, the evidence response team and many others with legal and technical expertise," Rojas said. "There is a lot of love for Taylor here -- even those who have never even met her."