Kamiyah Mobley, now 18, has been missing since she was a newborn. Kamiya, who was raised as Alexis Manigo, was snatched from her birth mother Shanara Mobley’s arms at the University Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida, in July 1998. The abductor was dressed as a nurse and told Mobley, who was 16 at the time, that Kamiyah had a fever and needed to be examined.
Gloria Williams, 51, was arrested and charged with kidnapping at her home at 5 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 14, 2017. Williams, a week before the crime, had suffered a miscarriage. She drove to Florida and abducted the 8-hour-old newborn whom she raised in Walterboro, South Carolina, with two of her biological children.
At the time of the kidnapping, the video footage at the hospital was of low quality and there were no photos of Kamiyah to reference. Within the first year, the kidnapping received national attention, appeared on “America’s Most Wanted” and a reward reached up to a quarter of a million dollars. The case went cold after the police investigated over 2,000 leads.
Kamiyah, is obviously devastated, but she’s defending the only mother she’s ever known saying in a Facebook post, “My mother raised me with everything I needed and most of all everything I wanted. My mother is no felon.”
Court records show that Williams has an extensive criminal record. She’s been found guilty of writing fraudulent checks and welfare fraud. She was also charged with a minor crime for disturbing the peace two months after Kamiyah was abducted.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams says Gloria Williams will be extradited back to Florida and is being held without bond.
Kamiyah’s biological father and grandmother, Craig and Velma Aiken, have spoken to her on FaceTime, as did Kamiyah’s mother Shanara, who has since had three more children.
Velma Aiken, 66, said her granddaughter chatted with the family as if they had known each other her whole life.
“She looks just like her daddy,” she tells the Associated Press. “She act[s] like she been talking to us all the time. She told us she’d be here soon to see us. We lost her for 18 years. We don’t want to lose her again.”
Craig Aiken says, “It’s been 18 years. I can’t wait no [sic] longer.”
Williams could face up to life in prison if convicted.
Kamiyah’s birth family, father and grandmother, Craig and Velma Aiken, are excited about reuniting with their loved one.