Story submitted by FDLE
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), along with the Madison Police Department (MPD), the FBI and the Madison County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) announced charges against Jason Lenard Hayling, 44, in connection with the 2016 kidnapping of seven-year-old Bryan Williamson. The child was kidnapped from Gibson Trailer Park on April 17, 2016, between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and dropped off in Jacksonville between 5 and 7 a.m. on April 18, 2016.
Hayling was arrested out of state in February of 2018 for an unrelated Jacksonville capital sexual battery case. FDLE agents obtained a search warrant for his DNA after noticing similarities between the Madison kidnapper and Hayling.
"After nearly two years, it gives me relief to tell you that we know who the kidnapper is and that this dangerous predator is no longer a threat to our community," said FDLE Special Agent in Charge Mark Perez. "Observant investigators with unwavering dedication along with DNA helped solve this case."
"Madison Police Department officers and investigators worked tirelessly on this case," said MPD Chief Reggie Alexander. "I appreciate the hard work of investigators who were determined to find this child predator."
"This case reflects the relentless efforts of the FBI and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to identify those who prey on our children," said Special Agent James VanPelt of the FBI's Jacksonville Division. "I am hopeful that the people of Madison County, Jacksonville and everywhere in between can breathe a little easier tonight knowing that Jason Lenard Hayling is no longer an unknown threat to our communities."
"As the Sheriff of Madison County, I am always impressed with the depth and perseverance of all our local and state officers as they continue to pursue these predators and protect our communities," said Madison County Sheriff Ben Stewart. "This case is an example of a job well done."
Hayling remains in the Duval County Jail at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Pre-Trial Detention Facility and has been charged for the Madison kidnapping.
Following the 2016 abduction, investigators and analysts from FDLE, MPD, FBI, and MCSO viewed hundreds of hours of video from homes and businesses, processed dozens of citizen calls from a tip line and distributed flyers throughout Florida and Southern Georgia in working to solve this case.
If you have any information regarding this case or Jason Lenard Hayling, please contact FDLE at (800) 226-5630.