JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The mother of a 5-year-old girl reported missing from Jacksonville last week is now a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams announced Monday.
The search for Taylor Rose Williams expanded west into Alabama, where the girl's mother is originally from.
Sheriff Williams asked anyone who saw Taylor and her mother, Brianna Williams, together between Jacksonville and Alabama in the last two weeks to call the Sheriff's Office with that information. The number is 904-630-0500.
He said Brianna Williams was believed to have been driving her black 2017 Honda Accord, which has tinted windows and black rims.
As dozens of members of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department's Urban Search and Rescue team traveled to Demopolis, Alabama, to continue searching for Taylor, Sheriff Williams said Brianna Williams is considered a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance.
He said she hasn't spoken to police since Wednesday and is not cooperating with the investigation.
"We still need her cooperation," Sheriff Williams said.
He said the USAR team, which left town in the early afternoon from the department's training academy, will coordinate with local authorities as they continue searching.
The firefighters are specially trained for searching for missing people in criminal cases and after natural disasters. The department K-9 unit was also dispatched.
"We absolutely hope to find her alive," Sheriff Williams said. "We feel pretty comfortable that this is the right step to take."
Multiple sources said they will look in a 30-square mile grid in a rural area in Alabama, where her mother, Brianna Williams, grew up.
Interim Fire Rescue Chief Keith Powers declined to comment about the crew's mission as they left town, saying it was part of a JSO investigation and that details would come from the sheriff.
Firefighters said they expect to be on the assignment for up to seven days.
The investigation into Taylor's disappearance began at 7:22 a.m. Nov. 6 at a home on Ivy Street where Brianna Williams told police she last saw her daughter in bed the night before. Hundreds of officers, along with K-9 teams and mounted units searched extensively for two days.