As the sun rose Monday over the Paradise Village Mobile Home Park off Beaver Street, efforts to find a boy and girl reported missing early Sunday afternoon.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Braxton Williams, 6, and his sister, 5-year-old Bri'ya Williams, were reported missing by a family member about 1:30 p.m. Sunday after they were last seen about 11:30 a.m. while playing in the front yard of a home off West Beaver Street.
WJCT News partner News4Jax reported the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued the Amber Alert about 5:15 p.m.
Roxanne Lloyd, the children’s paternal grandmother, told News4Jax that the family has been in the home for about two or three years and was preparing for a barbecue when the children’s father went inside for a brief period of time and the children disappeared.
"My son told me that they was fixing to get ready to have a barbecue and the kids was right outside the door, which is probably only steps away from the kitchen. You know, he could look out the kitchen window and see the kids, and he said that he went in the house briefly to get the meat, and when he came back out, they was gone just that quick," explained Lloyd, who said her two grandchildren had never wandered away before. "We’re asking for all prayers."
Police said Braxton was last seen wearing blue jeans but the red sweater they thought he was wearing was found inside their home. He was described as being 3 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 40 pounds and having black hair and brown eyes. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the boy is said to be on the autism spectrum but will communicate with others.
Lloyd said Braxton is a quiet little boy, while Bri'ya is more active and outgoing than her brother. Bri'ya was wearing a gray sweater with multicolored writing on the front and black leggings when she was last seen, authorities said.
The girl was described as being 3 feet tall, weighing 30 pounds and having black hair and brown eyes. Since the boy and girl are so close in age, they’ve always had a close sibling bond, their grandmother said.
According to the Sheriff's Office, family members had attempted to look for the children for an extended period of time before notifying police, who then escalated the search.
An expanded version of this story that includes a video report is at News4Jax.com.