Missing Jacksonville siblings, 5 and 6, found safe in broken down pumphouse, police say they likely wandered off
Braxton and Bri'ya Williams were located in a broken down pumphouse after disappearing from their front yard in Florida.
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: Two young siblings who had disappeared from their front yard were found in a wooded area a quarter-mile from their Florida home on Tuesday, December 17.
Braxton Williams, 6, and his sister Bri'ya Williams, 5, had first been reported missing on Sunday, December 15, morning from outside their home at the Paradise Valley mobile park in Jacksonville.
"Great News! The Florida AMBER Alert for Braxton and Bri'ya Williams of Jacksonville has been resolved," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced on Tuesday. "The children are safe. Thank you for sharing!"
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office took to Twitter to share, "We are happy to announce that Braxton and Bri’ya Williams have been located. Thank you to the community for your support and to our partner agencies for assisting in this search." Around 19 Jacksonville Sheriff's Office deputies and other authorities were conducting a line search in a wooded area on day three of the probe into their disappearance.
Sheriff Mike Williams said the children appeared to have wandered off and taken shelter in a dilapidated pumphouse about 400 yards from their home. He revealed that one of the rescue teams had heard a child's voice which led the search party to fan out and search other areas. Eventually, the siblings were located a quarter-mile into the wooded area from their home. The children were taken out of the woods and were met by a cousin who ran to them after seeing the commotion.
The cousin shared, "I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if it was good, bad or whatever, but they reassured me that everything was perfectly fine. We just thank God, because the only thing we wanted was the kids home and safe with their parents, so it has been a glorious day."
Williams revealed that the children were slightly dehydrated and had some bumps but were in good health and were very talkative. As reported by NBC News, Williams shared, "They asked for a cheese pizza, that we quickly delivered to them." JSO Assistant Chief Ellis Burns called the rescue a 'Christmas miracle.'
JFRD Chief Keith Powers said, "A lot of times we don’t have great outcomes. I think this is a glorious day for the city that we were able to do this."