July 10, 1998|
July 10, 1998|
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
|Status||Recovered alive after 18 years|
|Other names||Alexis Manigo|
|Known for||Former missing person|
Kamiyah Mobley was abducted from a Florida hospital on July 10, 1998 when she was only a few hours old. In January 2017 she was found alive in Walterboro, South Carolina. DNA testing proved that she was not the daughter of Gloria Williams, her abductor. She had been raised under (and now willingly goes by) the name Alexis Manigo.
Kamiyah Mobley was born on July 10, 1998, to sixteen-year-old Shanara Mobley. She was abducted hours after birth by a woman impersonating a nurse, reportedly dressed in hospital attire, who entered the room, assisted and conversed with the mother, and later walked out of the room with Kamiyah in her arms. Employees initially believed that the woman who kidnapped Kamiyah was a member of the Mobley family. Shanara was interviewed later, pleading for the return of her daughter.
The abductor was believed to be between 25 and 35 years old and possibly wore a pair of glasses and a wig. She was dressed in a floral blue smock and green scrub pants. It is known that Gloria Williams, about 33 at the time, later forged documents to create a new identity for Mobley. Williams had miscarried a child a week before, which is believed to be her motive for the abduction.
Investigation and recovery
The news of the kidnapping made national headlines. Because there were no photographs taken of Kamiyah before her abduction, a computer-generated composite of her was created to distribute to the media. Distinctive features, such as Mongolian spots and an umbilical hernia, were included in reports. 2,500 leads were pursued in the case. Along with additional media appearances, Shanara Mobley was also interviewed on America's Most Wanted.
After a series of tips, Mobley was swabbed, and a DNA sample taken from Mobley after she was born was matched to a swab taken from the potential match.
After the match was confirmed, Mobley was described as "in good health but overwhelmed". She had been living in South Carolina under the name Alexis Manigo and had since graduated from high school and had a boyfriend. She had been raised alongside Gloria Williams' two other children.
Mobley connected with her father and grandmother over FaceTime and planned to reunite with other biological family members in person. She had never met her biological father, as he was incarcerated at the time of her birth due to the age difference between himself and Shanara when Kamiyah was conceived. He was 19 at the time, while she was 15.
Williams was arrested in South Carolina and extradited to Florida, where she was charged with kidnapping and interfering with custody. She had a prior history with law enforcement, having previously been charged with check and welfare fraud. Mobley described Williams as "no felon" and insisted that Williams raised her with "everything [she] needed".
In February, Williams pleaded guilty to kidnapping. She admitted she acted alone in the 1998 abduction.
On June 8, 2018, Gloria Williams was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the kidnapping of Kamiyah Mobley. Kamiyah still communicates with her kidnapper Williams, whom she still refers to as her mother. Kamiyah continues to go by the name she was raised under, Alexis Manigo. Kamiyah/Alexis has little contact with her biological mother as of July 2018[update] despite her biological mother wishing for a relationship. Kamiyah/Alexis has been developing a relationship with her biological father and his family.
- Sanchez, Ray. "Newborn abducted from hospital found alive 18 years later, sheriff says". CNN. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- "Family of Kamiyah Mobley speaks to her for first time in 18 years". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- "Kamiyah Mobley". missingkids.org. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Retrieved 15 January 2017.[permanent dead link]
- Schladebeck, Jessica (14 January 2017). "Kamiyah Mobley defends woman who abducted her from Florida hospital 18 years ago". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- Koulouris, Christopher (13 January 2017). "'She's no felon' Kamiyah Mobley defends abductor mom". Scallywag and Vagabond. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- Parenteau, Chris (5 April 2017). "With 'daughter' watching, woman pleads not guilty to 1998 abduction". news4jax.com.
- News, ABC. "Video: Woman pleads guilty to 1998 baby kidnapping that garnered national attention". ABC News. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
- "Gloria Williams sentenced for kidnapping newborn from hospital, raising child as her own". Crimesider. cbsnews.com. June 8, 2018.