Woman knew for months she’d been stolen at birth

Jason Dearen
Associated Press

An 18-year-old who was kidnapped as an infant had discovered months ago the truth that she was living with her abductor under an assumed name, court documents show.

An arrest warrant affidavit filed in the case Wednesday says the girl, living under the name Alexis Manigo in South Carolina, knew a year and a half ago that she’d been kidnapped as a baby from a Florida hospital and was listed as a missing person.

The girl’s real name was Kamiyah Mobley. After her admission to a friend last summer in the town of Walterboro, South Carolina, where she lived, court documents say an anonymous tip was received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which contacted authorities.

Mobley was just eight hours old when a woman dressed as a nurse took her from her mother and disappeared. The abduction created a massive search, but Mobley was never found.

After the tips to the center, detectives with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in Florida obtained a cheek swab from Mobley. The DNA tests confirmed her identity, and Gloria Williams, 51, was arrested on a kidnapping charge.

On Jan. 10, detectives from Florida went to Walterboro and obtained a birth certificate and Social Security card from the high school Mobley attended, and found both to be fraudulent, according to the documents. The Social Security number listed on the card was for a man in Virginia who had died in 1983.

“Alexis was a child and she relied on Gloria Williams with regards to any documents in existence,” said Mobley’s attorney, Justin Bamberg. “Kids don’t take care of that kind of stuff, a Social Security card or any type of birth certificate.”

The affidavit also says Williams had admitted to associates that she took Mobley from a Jacksonville, Florida, hospital and raised her in South Carolina.

That admission led to another anonymous tip to the center, the documents show.

“The … suspect stated that she renamed the victim as Alexis Kelli Manigo, and claims her as her daughter,” the affidavit reads.

Williams is now being held without bail in a Jacksonville jail, and also faces a charge of interference with custody in addition to kidnapping. There is no attorney listed for her yet.

Mobley’s attorney said she is extremely upset about the loss of the only mother she has ever known, but also wants to get to know her biological family.

“She forgives her, doesn’t hold any ill will towards her,” Bamberg said of Williams. “She doesn’t love this woman any less than she did before.”