• The 5-year-old victim's decomposed body was found in Alabama a week after her mother reported her missing
  • The child was "tortured, maliciously punished or caged" in the six months before she went missing, authorities say
  • The mother faces a minimum of 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder

A 29-year-old Florida mother, whose daughter’s body was found in Alabama after she reported the child missing, pleaded guilty Thursday to killing the 5-year-old.

On Thursday, Brianna Williams, of Jacksonville, Florida, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Taylor Rose Williams, FirstCoastNews reported.

Williams faces a minimum of 20 years to life in prison under the plea agreement, prosecutors said.

She was a Navy petty officer first class at the time of her arrest and worked at the Tactical Operations Center at Naval Air Station in Jacksonville.

Williams was initially charged with aggravated child abuse, two counts of child neglect, lying to police and tampering with evidence.

She had not been charged with murder before Thursday, Action News Jax reported.

Williams had "tortured, maliciously punished or caged" her daughter Taylor in the six months before the child went missing, according to investigators.

"The apartment of Brianna Williams was thoroughly searched, photographed and evidence was collected," District Attorney Lauren Anderson said in court Thursday. "Obvious signs of neglect and abuse were observed including soiled children's clothing, soiled carpeting, blood and along with partially empty soup and fruit cans that had a tiny hole cut in them."

Prosecutors also said that Williams had used her computer to search for information about starvation and malnourishment, News4Jax reported.

Williams called the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Nov. 6, 2019, and reported that her daughter was missing and that the back door to her Jacksonville home was unlocked, officials said. This prompted authorities to launch a massive search for the little girl.

Williams later stopped cooperating after authorities noted inconsistencies in her story, and she was called a person of interest, NBC News reported.

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 said.

The child's body was stuffed in a garbage bag and buried in a shallow grave, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Authorities said Taylor had died months before her remains were found.

Bodycam footage previously released by police showed the victim's mother crying and shaking as she told an officer that Taylor was missing, reported.

However, Williams appeared "emotionless" in court Thursday, according to FirstCoastNews.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay