But she wasn’t Mobley’s biological mother. Mobley was kidnapped as a newborn in 1998 from a hospital in Florida and allegedly raised by Williams as if she was her own.
In dramatic fashion, the teenager – who was given a new name, Alexis Manigo – resurfaced in Jacksonville, South Carolina January 13, and Williams, 41, is now accused of kidnapping and interference with custody, although details of the case are still unfolding.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Abductor Dressed as a Nurse to Steal the Newborn From the Hospital
The kidnapper was a woman dressed as a nurse, reported Jacksonville.com. Kamiyah was only eight hours old.
The abduction occurred at University Medical Center in Jacksonville, South Carolina, and it gained national attention at the time.
According to First Coast News, Williams allegedly entered the hotel room and “told Mobley that her newborn baby had a fever and exited the room, and later the hospital, with the baby and disappeared.”
Over the years, Sheriff’s officials and Mobley’s family did not give up hope of finding the child, fielding 2,500 tips. Local 10 reported that the kidnapper was captured on a “grainy” surveillance video and was wearing a flowered nurse’s jacket, scrubs, and surgical gloves.
According to the Charley Project, the kidnapper “befriended” Kamiyah’s mother in the hospital. “Investigators believe that the abductor passed herself off as a Mobley family member to hospital staff, while continuing to assume the role of a medical professional when dealing” with the mother. “She waited in the hospital for 14 hours,” the Charley Project reported.
2. Williams Has a Criminal Record but Was Known as a Church-Going Woman to Neighbors
Police arrested Williams at her home in Walterboro, S.C. without incident, reported First Coast News.
She has “an extensive criminal record and has been found guilty of writing fraudulent checks and welfare fraud,” UK Daily Mail reported.
However, CBS News reported, “Neighbors knew them for years as a church-going mother and her polite teenage daughter.”
News 4 reported that Williams waived extradition to Florida, where a judge will set bail.
Recent tips led authorities to Kamiyah, who had begun to suspect what was going on a few months ago, reported Local10.com.
The family had been evicted multiple times, and lived in a Habitat for Humanity home, UK Daily Mail reported.
3. Williams Worked for a Veterans Affairs’ Hospital & Led a Church Youth Group
According to CBS news, Williams once “worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ hospital in Charleston, volunteered in the area for Habitat for Humanity and led the youth program at a Methodist church.”
According to CNN, Mobley’s mother received $1.5 million in a legal settlement against University Medical Center and has three other children.
Velma Aiken, Mobley’s grandmother, told The New York Daily News that she spoke with her granddaughter using FaceTime and Kamiyah “acts like she’s been talking to us for a long time.”
Kamiyah’s father, Craig Aiken, and mother, Shanara Mobley also spoke to Kamiyah, the newspaper reported.
4. Williams Had Reportedly Suffered a Miscarriage Before the Abduction
According to Waltersboro Live.com, “Williams had miscarried approximately a week before she got in her car and began driving.”
Jacksonville.com reported that Shanara Mobley, Kamiyah’s mother, spent “part of every birthday of her firstborn cutting a piece of sheet cake, putting it on a paper plate, wrapping it in aluminum foil and sticking it in the freezer of her Jacksonville home.”
Family members have filled Kamiyah’s Facebook page with comments. One read, “I don’t care to read the comments because I know the truth first hand! My sister been through hell and back and celebrated 18 birthdays and never missed one because she never gave up hope! This is only the beginning. Thank God for bringing my sister peace 😇🙏🏽 we love you niece you have several.”
The mother told the newspaper in 2008, “It’s stressful to wake up every day knowing that your child is out there and you have no way to reach her or talk to her.”
Aiken was in jail when Kamiyah was born because Shanara was only 15 when Kamiyah was conceived, the Charley Project reported.
5. Mobley Told Williams in Court That She Loves Her
During the first court appearance for Williams, Mobley told Williams she “loved her” and was “praying” for her, reported First Coast News.
DNA tests were conducted, and they proved that the teenager was, indeed, Mobley.
“She was abducted as a newborn and needs time to process this,” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said during a press conference. CBS News reported that Mobley cried “momma” through a security door in court.