Parenting

Woman Kidnapped From Hospital 18 Years Ago Says 'Mother' Who Raised Her Not a Felon

Gloria Williams, 51, of Walterboro, S.C., was arrested this week on kidnapping charges. Her victim was 18-year-old Kamiyah Mobley, whom Williams had kidnapped from a Jacksonville, Fla., hospital when the girl was just hours old. Williams raised Mobley as Alexis Manigo and the girl had no idea she had been kidnapped until a recent DNA test confirmed she was Kamiya Mobley, who had been kidnapped in Jacksonville, Fla., 18 years ago.

Williams was posing as a nurse when she snatched Mobley from what was then University Medical Center in 1998. Grainy video footage from a closed-circuit TV showed an image of a woman wearing scrubs and surgical gloves leaving the hospital with a baby wrapped in a pink and blue blanket around the time of the kidnapping.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said that Alexis “had an inclination” several months ago that she may have been kidnapped. He didn’t indicate what may have led to that feeling.

That was followed by a tip received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which reached out to cold case detectives at the sheriff’s office. Alexis supplied a DNA sample for analysis and the match was confirmed.

Williams said the young woman is in good health but feeling overwhelmed.

“She appears to be a normal 18-year-old woman,” Sheriff Williams said. “She’s taking it as well as you can imagine. She has a lot to process.”

Friends and neighbors were shocked by news that Alexis had been kidnapped.

“Wrong is wrong, and right is right. She was wrong for doing it, but at the end of the day, she took care of her like she was her own,” Shannon Johns, a cousin of Gloria Williams told News 4 Jax. “She raised her since she was a baby. And that’s the only mother that she knew.”

“Nobody can say anything bad about her because nobody can judge nobody. They aren’t perfect,” Johns said. “The only person that can judge us is God, because he’s the only person that is laid into eternal life. He’s the only person that has a hell or a heaven to put us in.”

Alexis saw her mother briefly before she was taken into custody after being charged with kidnapping and interfering with custody. “I love you Momma,” she cried through the security door as her mother was taken away after waiving extradition to Florida.

“My mother raised me with everything I needed and most of all everything I wanted,” she wrote on Facebook. “My mother is no felon.”

Not surprisingly, Alexis’s birth family was ecstatic to learn that their daughter is alive and well. They cried “tears of joy” after hearing the news from a detective. Within hours they were FaceTiming with their daughter.

“She looks just like her daddy,” her paternal grandmother, Velma Aiken said. “She acts like she been talking to us all the time. She told us she’d be here soon to see us.”

“I always hoped and prayed for this day to happen. I never gave up,” said Craig Aiken, Alexis’s birth father. “You never lose hope, no matter how much time passes. You never give up. I just always felt she was alive. I always felt she was going to find us.”

“I always prayed, ‘Don’t let me die before I see my grandbaby,'” said paternal grandmother Velma Aiken. “My prayer was answered.”

Her mother, Shanara Mobley, said that she would bake Kamiya a cake every year for her birthday, wrap a piece, and stick it in the freezer.

“It’s stressful to wake up every day, knowing that your child is out there and you have no way to reach her or talk to her,” Mobley said in 2008.