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Florida mother pleads guilty to murder of daughter, 5, who she reported missing

Brianna Williams reported her 5-year-old daughter Taylor missing in 2019,and then stopped cooperating. The child’s body was later found in Alabama.
Syndication: Florida Times-Union
Brianna Williams is given directions by a court bailiff after her plea of second-degree murder was accepted by Judge Kevin Blazs in the Duval County Courthouse, in Jacksonville, Fla., on March 3, 2022.Bob Self / Florida Times-Union/USA TODAY Network

A Florida mother who reported her 5-year-old daughter missing a week before the child’s decomposed body was found in Alabama pleaded guilty to second-degree murder this week, officials said.

Brianna Williams, 29, of Jacksonville, faces up to life in prison under a plea agreement, the prosecutor’s office said.

Williams, a former Navy petty officer first class, called the sheriff’s office Nov. 6, 2019, and reported that her daughter, Taylor, was missing and that the back door to her home was unlocked, officials said.

Williams stopped cooperating after authorities noted inconsistencies in her story and she was called a person of interest.

A little less than a week after the 5-year-old was reported missing, decomposed remains that would later be confirmed to be the child were found in the Demopolis, Alabama, area, officials have said.

Officials were not able to determine the cause of death because of the condition of the remains, NBC affiliate WTLV of Jacksonville reported.

Assistant State Attorney Lauren Anderson said in court that it was determined some of the remains showed evidence of potential malnourishment, trauma or disease, the station reported.

Sentencing is scheduled for May, according to court records. While the maximum possible sentence is life, the minimum guideline sentence is more than 20 years, the state attorney’s office said.

A request for comment from Williams' attorney was not immediately returned Friday night.