Grandparents thank everyone who helped rescue missing Jacksonville children
6-year-old boy and his 5-year-old sister found safe in woods near their Whitehouse home
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After more than two days of uncertainty in the search for Braxton Williams and his younger sister Bri’ya, their grandparents were overjoyed Tuesday when they heard the news that the siblings were found in the woods near their Westside home.
“Everybody was happy. I was crying,” grandfather Clifford Lloyd told News4Jax on Wednesday morning. “Everybody was hugging. It was a great feeling. I had never had that feeling in my life."
Roxanne Lloyd, their grandmother, heard the news they were found safe from her son, Bryan Williams.
“It was mind-blowing,” she said. “Time was getting shorter.”
The siblings were found inside what was described as a “dilapidated pump house” about a quarter-mile north of their home off West Beaver Street.
Roxanne Lloyd said not knowing where the children were, or if they were warm and safe, was the most difficult part of the last two days. She said the children never mentioned a pump house before.
“I think they were just curious,” she said. “They usually just play in the yard and don’t leave out of the yard.”
Braxton, 6, and his 5-year-old sister, Bri’ya, were a little dehydrated and had a couple of bumps and bruises, but were found in overall good health, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said.
As of Wednesday morning, the children were still at UF Health for observation. Roxanne Lloyd, who hasn’t seen the children since they were rescued, said her son told her the siblings were doing fine and he was hopeful they would be home by the end of the day Wednesday.
“I can’t wait to see them,” she said.
Both grandparents expressed gratitude to the 19 Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department personnel who found the children and the countless others who helped in the search.
“Thank you, everyone — firefighters, police, the volunteers that came near and far, the prayers that came near and far,” Roxanne Lloyd said. “Everybody that showed a part in getting our babies back home, thank you.”
“Thank God for all of them,” Clifford Lloyd said.
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