Teen stolen as a baby still loves “Mom”
Los Angeles (CNN) July 1998 — Kamiyah Mobley was just a few hours old.
A woman, dressed as a nurse, walked out of a Jacksonville hospital with the infant and vanished without a trace.
A mother left devastated — longing for her daughter’s return.
“That would be the happiest thing in the world right now — would be to hold my baby and know that she’s not going nowhere,” a distraught Shanara Mobley told reporters back then.
For 18 years, the kidnapped girl — re-named Alexis Manigo — lived in a small South Carolina town where she called Gloria Williams — “Mom.”
But now Gloria, the woman who raised her, is behind bars, charged with kidnapping and interference with custody.
She could spend the rest of her life in prison, if convicted.
“She’s not an animal,” Alexis told HLN’s Ashleigh Banfield. “I don’t think she deserves to be in cuffs.”
The secret was exposed when the 18-year-old began looking for a job and found problems with her applications.
“She had fraudulent identification, so her social security and birth certificates were both fraudulent and that began to raise questions,” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams told CNN.
When Alexis’ DNA matched Kamiyah’s, investigators got their break — and birth parents got to hug their girl.
While Alexis gets to know her new family, she says she’ll never turn her back on the woman that raised her.
“I love her to death. Keep your head up,” Alexis told HLN. “I love you. Hang in there.”
Written and produced by: Ben Bamsey for “CNN Newsroom L.A.”