Williams testified that she’d had a miscarriage about a month before taking Kamiyah. She said she was in an abusive relationship at the time, had lost custody of two other children and that the abuse led to the loss of her pregnancy.
After her loss, she drove south to Jacksonville from South Carolina, and said she had no plans to kidnap a child.
The stolen child, Kamiyah Mobley [photo], now 20 listens to proceedings
Williams wore scrubs into a Jacksonville hospital in 1998 and posed as a nurse to get a new mother to hand over her baby. She put the baby, Kamiyah Mobley, in a bag and left
‘I felt like I was on autopilot. My life was out of control, I lost everything,’ she said.
Williams raised Mobley, who grew up as Alexis Manigo, in South Carolina until her arrest in 2017.
Williams told Kamiyah of her true identity after the girl was unable apply for a job and get a driver’s license because she didn’t have a valid birth certificate or Social Security card.
Police sketch of the kidnap suspect
Gloria Williams raised Kamiyah Mobley shown in fed aging sketches during the search, in South Carolina until her arrest in 2017. The abducted child grew up as Alexis Manigo
Kamiyah eventually told a friend about it, but not police. Eventually, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received an anonymous tip about Kamiyah’s whereabouts, and authorities were alerted.
On Friday, Williams apologized to Shanara Mobley, the birth mother, who a day earlier testified that Williams should receive a death sentence. She told the girl she abducted that she still loved her.
‘I will always love you, always,’ Williams said to Kamiyah, who was also in the courtroom gallery. ‘But you’re not mine. Your mother and father are sitting right here.’
Anonymous phone tips outed Gloria Williams [right]. After DNA tests confirmed Mobley was the missing baby, Williams her ‘surrogate mother’ was arrested on a kidnapping charge. As she was admitting her guilt Friday, Williams apologized to Shanara Mobley, the birth mother
South Carolina woman charged with kidnapping infant from a Jacksonville, FL hospital in 1998; 18 year-old woman found safe under assumed name, but Alexis Kelli Manigo is out defending her abductor
I will always love you, always,’ Williams said to Kamiyah, who was also in the courtroom gallery. ‘But you’re not mine. Your mother and father are sitting right here’
Shanara Mobley, mother of Kamiyah Mobley, gave an emotional testimony on Thursday, where she described the torment of having her newborn baby stolen just hours after she gave birth.
‘Thinking about suicide every day, people watching me all day every day, no one was leaving me unattended,’ she said of the months following Kamiyah’s abduction, as she wiped away tears.
She said that even now, 20 years later, she still feels the loss of her daughter deeply and even called for the death penalty for kidnapper Gloria Williams.
‘I am your mother,’! Shanara Mobley, Kamiyah’s biological mom broke down during the hearing of her daughter’s kidnapper, screaming, on Thursday
‘I always thought about my baby every day, every day, every day. I would catch myself in my car crying, in bed crying, taking a bath crying, doing something with her siblings and crying,’ said Mobley, who said she suffered from depression since Kamiyah was stolen.
Mobley said she had suffered fresh pain after seeing her daughter refer to her abductor Gloria Williams as mom and seeing Williams’ number in her phone as ‘mommy.’
‘It doesn’t heal now, I am still hurting. When you’re reaching out to my child – I am your mother Kamiyah,’ she shouted into the courtroom. ‘I am your mother!’
Kamiyah was just eight hours old on July 10, 1998, when Williams posed as a nurse and entered Mobley’s hospital room at what is now known as UF Health-Jacksonville, claiming that Kamiyah had a fever and needed to be checked.
Anguish of a mother: Shanara Mobley gave an emotional testimony on Thursday, describing feeling suicidal in the aftermath of having her newborn baby daughter mysteriously vanish, just hours after she gave birth
Shanara Mobley wiped away tears during her emotional testimony about the torment of a teen mother whose first born child was kidnapped – Pain which is only worsened when Mobley said after she witnessed her daughter refer to Williams as mom and seeing her abductor’s number in her phone as ‘mommy.’
‘It’s not like she tortured me!’ Florida girl snatched at birth and raised under a false identity pleads for leniency for her ‘mom’
Kamiyah Mobley issued an extraordinary plea for leniency before her mom’s trial, telling stating: ‘It’s not like she tortured me,’ in a television interview.
The teen said that while she recognizes Williams could spend years behind bars, Kamiyah says she’s already forgiven her for the long-term deception – and will never turn her back on the impostor.
‘Don’t get me wrong, I do feel like it was wrong. But we talked about it and I can understand at the time what was going on,’ said Kamiyah, now aged 19. ‘I sympathize with her, I’m not mad at her – of course I forgive her.
‘I am certain that she’s going to get time but I’m hoping not very, very long. I think they should be lenient. It’s not like she took me and tortured me my whole life. She took care of me very well.’Kamiyah has spent the past year forging new ties with her biological parents, Shanara Mobley, 36, and Craig Aiken, 42, as well as getting to know the numerous siblings she never realized she had.
Gloria Williams [right] seen posing for this mother – daughter selfie with Kamiyah Mobley before she was arrested and charged with kidnapping and interfering with custody
She’s already formed an ‘incredible bond’ with Aiken, staying at his Jacksonville home for weeks at a time and celebrating Christmas with him, his wife Shannon, 42, and her eight half-siblings.
Aiken was in jail at the time of the birth for sleeping with Mobley when he was 19 and she was 15.
Aiken said he does not mind that his daughter doesn’t resent Kamiyah for refusing to sever ties with the woman who robbed him of the chance to cradle her as a baby or watch her growing up.
‘She can’t help what happened with Gloria or the feelings she’s got for Gloria,’ said Aiken, a radio DJ and property manager.
‘She just wants her mama to understand that she’s not trying to do anything to hurt her. The last thing she wants to do is hurt her mama.
‘What I try and do is block out all the negativity and just focus on building that relationship with her. That helps me cope better too.
As thrilled as she was to meet her biological parents, there was never any likelihood that Alexis Manigo would slip effortlessly into Kamiyah Mobely’s shoes and leave her kidnapper languishing unloved and alone in a jail cell.
When Williams made her first court appearance on charges of first-degree kidnapping and third-degree custodial interference, Kamiyah was there, tearfully calling out to her before reaching through the metal bars to touch her fingers.
‘I know her and she’s not a criminal’ .
‘It was emotional seeing her behind bars and not being able to touch her and hug her, knowing she’s not coming home and I’m probably not going to see her for a very long time after that.
‘If she does end up going to prison for a long time I will never abandon her. We will always keep in touch.’
Kamiyah now splits her time between Aiken’s household and the house where she was raised, with friends and loved ones in Walterboro, South Carolina still referring to her as Alexis.
Kamiyah has spent the last 12 months forging new ties with her biological parents,
At Last: Shanara Mobley [left] and teen’s dad Craig Aiken meet their daughter Kamiyah [center], who first met her biological parents, when Gloria Williams was arrested. Her dad had never set eyes on before then
But her defense of Williams has made it harder for the teen to rebuild her relationship with her biological mother. Shanara Mobley wrote on Facebook last year: ‘The tears won’t stop. I see my baby girl wanting this lady in her life and not me.’
‘It’s been harder for my mother to cope. We are working on our relationship. I don’t like to define which one is my mother, I like to be respectful of both parties,’ the teen said.
‘I don’t like to take away from either one of their duties or what they did. I don’t want to pick sides.’
During her court testimony on Thursday, Mobley said that she was just 16 when her daughter was born in 1998. Despite her young age, she says she saw her pregnancy as a blessing – the chance to stop her partying lifestyle and settle down.
Mother – Daughter Reunion; Shanara Mobley is finally reunited with her daughter Kamiyah, 18 years after she was snatched from her hospital crib
The day Kamiyah was born was the happiest – and the saddest – of her life.
‘She was so beautiful. I just couldn’t wait to take her home, to dress her up and show her off,’ she said of her newborn.
But she never got the chance to hold her baby as it was at that point Williams, dressed as a nurse, came into the room and took Kamiyah away, telling the new mom she needed to take her temperature. The teen mom as not to see her child for another 18 years
The years went by slowly for Mobley, who would still mark her daughter’s birthday every year, buying a cake which she would keep in the freezer in case Kamiyah ever came home.
She never gave up hope that her daughter was alive. Finally reunited with Kamiyah last year, Mobley says she is hoping to make up for lost time.
‘I missed the first walk, the first word, graduating, prom, I missed all that, but I always try to look at it like life is a positive to a negative. When she gets pregnant, I get to be the grandma, when she graduates college I get to be there. The future has so much to offer us now.’
‘I’m sorry baby, I love you’: Moment teen was reunited with the woman who ‘kidnapped her as a baby’ for first time since her arrest as they vowed to stand by each other
Gloria Williams and Kamiyah Mobley had an emotional reunion in February, for the first time since her arrest.
‘I’m sorry baby. I love you,’ Williams told the tearful Mobley in video of the meeting, held under the watchful eye of police following her arrest, and obtained by ABC News.
Mobley then spoke of the officers who came to arrest the woman who raised her, saying: ‘It’s not like she tortured me!’
Williams is due to be sentenced this month and could face up to 22 years in jail.