In July of 1998, Shanara Mobley cradled her newborn baby in her arms at University Medical Center in Jacksonville, FL. Eight hours after baby Kamiyah was born, a nurse came into her hospital room and told Mobley that the baby needed to be examined. Unknown to Mobley, she would never see her baby again.
Mobley had no idea that just a week prior, a woman named Gloria Williams had suffered a miscarriage. The loss of her own baby was a devastating blow to Williams. She would do anything to have a child of her own, even if it meant taking someone else’s. Williams convinced hospital staff that she had been a family member of Shanara Mobley’s and befriended the woman during her stay at the hospital, before walking off with Kamiyah Mobley, never to be seen again.
It’s been 18 long years since Kamiyah Mobley seemed to have vanished without a trace. Investigators worked hard on the case, but after following nearly 2,500 leads, the case went cold. Their only hope was the reward offered for Kamiyah’s safe return, which at one point reached over a quarter of a million dollars. Even that wasn’t enough to bring justice to the Mobley family.
Investigators were led to Williams after a report was sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Investigators were able to find an 18-year-old young lady living under the name Alexis Manigo. Manigo, who coincidentally shared the same birthday as Kamiyah Mobley, appeared to have fraudulent documents connected with her identity. Manigo agreed to submit a DNA sample and testing was able to determine that the girl and Mobley were a positive match.
Gloria Williams was placed under arrest and charged with kidnapping. Manigo defended Williams and said that she was no kidnapper. Manigo posted to Facebook shortly after visiting Williams in jail, “My mother raised me with everything I needed and most of all everything I wanted. My mother is no felon.”
According to neighbors and family members of Williams, Manigo was raised in a good home. Williams was a hardworking member of the community who worked with social services and often was involved in charity work. Manigo was found in good health and described as a well-read and disciplined young lady.
Manigo has been working with a victims advocate in South Carolina, where the girl was found to be living with Williams and Williams’ husband. She has spoken with her biological family and hopes to have a reunion with the family who thought they had lost her forever 18 years ago.