Jacksonville, Florida: On November 6, 2019 Naval Petty Officer 1st Class Brianna Williams called the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to report her five-year-old daughter, Taylor Rose Williams as missing.
She initially told investigators that she had woken up to find her daughter missing and the back door of her residence unlocked.
Six days after she was reported missing, Taylor's remains were found concealed in a garbage bag in a shallow grave, just outside of Williams' hometown in Alabama. Williams was arrested that same day.
When Taylor's body was recovered, the Sheriff's Department had to run a DNA analysis in order to confirm identity. By that time, Williams was not cooperating with investigators.
Prosecutors revealed in court that Taylor's body had been found to be badly decomposed and that only ten percent of her bones were recovered. Those bones however, "showed evidence of potential malnourishment, trauma or disease," Lauren Anderson, prosecutor on the case said in court on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
Taylor's exact cause of death could not be determined due to the state of her remains when they were discovered so until the hearing last Thursday, Williams had not been charged with murder.
Williams had been charged with aggravated child abuse, two counts of child neglect, lying to police and tampering with evidence.
During the hearing however, she plead guilty to a charge of second degree murder.
It is not clear at this time why she would choose to plead guilty to a greater charge and the prosecutor's office has stated to First Coast News that they will not discuss the existence of any plea deal until after sentencing which is to take place on May 11, 2022.
Court documents filed by the State Attorney's Office allege that Williams "tortured, maliciously punished or caged" her daughter between April of 2019 and November 6, 2019.
"The apartment of Brianna Williams was thoroughly searched, photographed and evidence was collected," Anderson stated. "Obvious signs of neglect and abuse were observed including soiled children's clothing, soiled carpeting, blood and along with partially empty soup and fruit cants that had a tiny hole cut in them."
It was additionally revealed that Williams had conducted searches on her computer for information on malnourishment and refeeding syndrome.
When sentenced, Williams faces a minimum of 20 years in prison. She could be sentenced to life.