United States teenager who who was stolen from hospital as a newborn by a woman who then raised her as her own child, actually made the shocking discovery two years ago, a friend claims.
Alexis Manigo, 18, claimed she only found out on Friday that her real name was Kamiyah Mobley and that Gloria Williams kidnapped her from a Florida hospital on the day she was born.
But Arika Williams, who long believed she was Mobley’s half-sister, insists that she found out she was abducted when she went to apply for a job two years ago.
According to people.com, Williams told People. ‘She even stayed home from school the next day.’
The mystery of Kamiyah Mobley became a national sensation when she was stolen from her mother Shanara Mobley’s arms at the University Medical Center in Jacksonville in July 1998.
Williams had suffered a miscarriage about a week before she drove the three hours from South Carol
Meanwhile Williams, who also has two biological children who grew up with Kamiyah, will be extradited back to Florida as soon as possible and is being held without bond, according to Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams.
But Arika says Williams actually told Mobley the truth after she was hired at a local restaurant who asked her to provide a birth certificate and social security information.
‘Lexy didn’t have that so she asked Miss Gloria for it and Miss Gloria kept brushing it off,’ says Arika. ‘Lexy kept being hard on her mother, like ‘Momma, where is my stuff? I want to get this job.’ Then Miss Gloria just broke down and told her this is why right here, you can’t do this. I kidnapped you.’
Investigators are currently speaking with Williams’ family to learn more about the abduction. Authorities have not yet determined Williams’ links to Jacksonville.
A cousin of Gloria Williams said the revelation was ‘brand new to all of us.’
Tesha Stephens spoke briefly with reporters on Friday outside the Walterboro home where Kamiyah was raised.
She said she didn’t know how the young woman discovered her past and that the news was ‘something brand new to all of us’.
‘Right now she’s holding up… She’s processing everything and she’s probably going to have to take this day-by-day,’ she said. ‘This was something brand new to all of us.’
Susan Alls, Williams’ aunt, remains unconvinced that Mobely is not truly part of their family.
‘There has to be something going on with the DNA, whatever they did,’ she said.
The sensational news solves a cold case that accumulated more than 2,500 tips and captivated both the city and the country for more than a decade.
A tip received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children last year led Jacksonville police to South Carolina.
It was there they found an 18-year-old woman with Kamiyah Mobley’s birth date but a different name and quickly discovered that fraudulent documents had been used to establish her identity.
A DNA sample from the teen was taken and submitted to a crime lab, where it was matched with the original newborn DNA taken the day Kamiyah was born. The test confirmed the teen was, in fact, Kamiyah.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Kamiyah appears to be in ‘good health’ and a ‘normal 18-year-old woman’.
He said she first ‘had an inclination’ a couple of months ago that she may have been involved in the national kidnapping case in some way. Authorities didn’t say why she suspected this.
Police said Kamiyah plans on staying in South Carolina for the time being.
‘She’s taking it as well as you can imagine,’ Williams said. ‘We have victim’s advocates up there, she has a lot to process, a lot to think about.’
Gloria Williams was arrested on Friday morning at her home. Kamiyah was not present when she was taken in to custody.
Court records show that Gloria Williams has an extensive criminal record and has been found guilty of writing fraudulent checks and welfare fraud.