Newborn Stolen From Hospital 18 Years Ago Reunites With Her Biological Parents
- Author: Toni Ryan Jan 17, 2017,
Jan 17, 2017, 0:43
Gloria Williams is waiting to be brought back to Duval County on kidnapping charges.
It's been 18 years since "Kamiyah Mobley" was kidnapped just hours after her birth from a local hospital, and today, she was finally reunited with her biological parents. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams described her Friday as being in good health but emotionally overwhelmed.
The reunion happened at a police department in Walterboro, a community where Kamiyah Mobley has been living as Alexis Manigo.
Meanwhile, the young woman's birth family cried "tears of joy" after a detective told them their baby had been found. They were reunited via a FaceTime videochat, according to police.
"She looks just like her daddy", her paternal grandmother, Velma Aiken, of Jacksonville, said, after they were able to see each other for the first time. Nurses told authorities that they thought the woman was a family member of Mobley's because they saw her interact with Mobley several times hours before the abduction. "She told us she'd be here soon to see us".
Manigo was taken from her mother, Shanara Mobley, back in 1998 when she was just eight hours old. Thousands of tips came in over the years, but she had disappeared.
The father says it will be Kamiyah's decision whether or not she will be visiting Florida. She later met Charles Manigo and became pregnant with her third child.
Some months ago, the young woman "had an inclination" that she may have been kidnapped, the sheriff said.
The case broke thanks to a tip received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said Robert Lowery, a center vice president.
DNA analysis confirmed she was Kamiyah Mobley late Thursday night.
Tesha Stephens spoke briefly with reporters Friday outside the Walterboro home of 51-year-old Gloria Williams.More news: Obama Administration Ending 'Wet Foot-Dry Foot' Policy
The only picture authorities had of Kamiyah was a composite, because of how quickly she was taken.
Nearly 200 miles away in SC, officials found an 18-year-old woman with the same birthday but a different name.
Mobley has since defended the suspect, saying, "She raised me with everything I needed and most of all everything I wanted". "My prayer was answered".
Williams' aunt, Susan Alls, says she watched Mobley grow up to graduate high school.
Her mother, Shanara Mobley, told the Florida Times-Union newspaper on the 10th anniversary of the kidnapping that on every one of Kamiyah's birthdays, she wrapped a piece of birthday cake in foil and stuck it in her freezer.
"I talk to her every day".
As baby Kamiyah's abduction reached a fever pitch in Jacksonville and made worldwide headlines, Williams' family never had a single question that the baby could be the missing child.
The source even questioned whether Williams might have blocked the truth from her own memory until investigators came calling.
Mr Jenkins' wife Lakeshia said Williams and the girl would often come over for barbecues in the garden, or join their family at a nearby water park.
Manigo and his ex-girlfriend Gloria Williams devoted 18 years to raising the girl they named Alexis Kelly in rural SC. "I understand what's going on, but she's still my child".
"She's very intelligent, smart as a whip", Mr Boatwright said. "It doesn't change any feelings I have for Alexis", he said.