A 51-year-old woman was arrested Friday for kidnapping a baby girl from a Florida hospital just hours after her birth in 1998.
Gloria Williams faces kidnapping and interfering with custody charges after she stole Kamiyah Mobley, now 18, from her mother’s hospital room in Jacksonville, News4Jax reports.
Acting on recent tips, JSO cold-case detectives traveled to Walterboro, South Carolina, and found an 18-year-old woman with a matching birth date to Kamiyah Mobley, according to Sheriff Mike Williams. Detectives learned the woman’s identity was established with fraudulent documents, and they took a DNA sample from her. Thursday night, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab confirmed the woman was Kamiyah.
Raised as Alexis Manigo, authorities said that Mobley has grown into a normal 18-year-old woman. “She’s taking it as well as you can imagine,” Sheriff Mike Williams said during a news conference. “She has a lot to process.” He added that Mobley began to suspect in recent months that the woman who raised her was not her biological mother.
Mobley’s abduction became national news after a woman posing as a nurse removed the baby from her mother on the pretense that she had a fever. That woman, now identified as Williams, was described at the time as being between “25 and 47 years old,” and wearing teal scrubs and surgical gloves.
Mobley’s family is understandably thrilled at the news that she is safe. “They were overwhelmed with emotion,” Williams said.
Kamiyah’s mother, Shanara, sued the hospital following her daughter’s abduction, for which she received a $1.5 million settlement. The facility, then called University Medical Center but currently named UF Health Jacksonville, has since taken steps to boost the security in its maternity wards, adding wrist and ankle bands for newborns and limiting access to the area.
Authorities received 2,500 tips in connection with the case, though it was only on Thursday that a sample of Mobley’s DNA taken at the time of her birth matched with a swab taken from her earlier this week, CNN reports. She was located after a series of tips last year to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, with help from the FBI.
Williams is being held without bail and is awaiting extradition to Jacksonville. She faces life in prison if convicted.