A FIVE-YEAR-OLD whose mother reported her missing on Thursday may actually have disappeared several weeks ago, it has been claimed.
Taylor Williams was thought to have disappeared from her home in Jacksonville, Florida after being put to be on Wednesday night.
Her mother, naval petty officer Brianna Williams, told cops she had discovered Taylor missing after waking at 7am on Thursday morning.
A vast search is ongoing, and an amber alert – a system used in the US to spread information about missing children to the public – has also been issued.
But since the search was launched, three sources have told local station WJAX-TV that it has in fact been weeks since Taylor was last seen.
Police have also said Taylor's mother has stopped cooperating with the investigation since yesterday being asked about "inconsistencies" in her statement to them.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams told reporters at a news conference on Thursday that it was unclear when anyone but Brianna last saw Taylor alive, and asked anyone who had seen the mother and daughter together in the last six months to come forward.
He also said police had already received hundreds of tips.
'WE WON'T STOP'
The search for Taylor now involves more than 100 police officers, firefighters, search dogs, dive teams, mounted police, drone units, and civilian volunteers.
Jacksonville police have visited more than 600 homes since her disappearance in an attempt to gather information.
The family home was initially cordoned off during the search, and a car has been removed for forensic testing.
Taylor was last seen wearing a purple shirt and pink pyjama bottoms.
"We remain hopeful that we'll find Taylor," Williams said.
"We're not going to stop on our efforts to locate her and there's not one scenario or theory that we're not exploring and every possibility is being looked at."
The search for Taylor is focusing on the Brentwood neighbourhood of Florida, and is covering vehicles, rubbish dumps, waterways, and ponds.
Investigators are also searching apartments where the girl has previously lived.
The girl's father, who doesn't live in Florida, has been informed about her disappearance.
Police have issued an amber alert, used when it is thought possible that a child has been abducted and could be in imminent danger.
A reward of up to $3,000 (£2,349) is also being offered by Florida Crimestoppers for information about Taylor's whereabouts.
As of April 2019, nearly 1,000 children have been successfully recovered through the amber alert system, says the U.S. Department of Justice.
It also serves as deterrents to people "who would prey upon our children", say justice bosses.
Cops have checked with registered sex offenders in Brentwood.
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