Kamiyah Mobley was captured from a Florida hospital when she was only eight hours old, but now, 18 years later, she's defending the woman who made it all happen, the Daily News reports.
On July 10, 1998, Gloria Williams took Kamiyah while posing as a nurse, according to People Magazine. She had recently suffered a miscarriage, but after the kidnapping, she told her current boyfriend, Charles Manigo, that she gave birth while he was away. She was raised under the name Alexis Kelli Manigo.
Kamiyah first found out something was wrong when she applied for a job at a local restaurant, and her mother wouldn't give her her social security card.
Her half-sister, Arika Williams, told People Magazine that Kamiyah kept asking her mother for her identification. Gloria, her mother, eventually admitted she kidnapped her.
However, although Kamiyah finally knew the truth, she wasn't 'found' until two years after this discovery. Thousands of tips have been reported over the years. One of those tips eventually led investigators to South Carolina where they were told there was a girl with the same birth date, and after a DNA test, they confirmed she was the abducted infant, according to CBS.
"Your whole life, you've been known as 'Alexis, Lexy.' Now it's like, people are referring to you as someone else — nationally," Kamiyah told ABC News. "This attention is very overwhelming."
Just hours after the discovery, Kamiyah FaceTimed with her biological family. "Nobody works [a] miracle but God. I know he heard my prayers," her grandmother, Velma Aiken, told the Daily News.
On January 14, Kamiyah met her biological parents in person for the first time since the kidnapping. "The first meeting was beautiful," her father, Craig Aiken, told reporters. "It's a feeling that you can't explain."
With more family brings more love, Kamiyah told reporters after she reunited with her biological parents.
No Hard Feelings
Even through all of this, Kamiyah doesn't have hard feelings towards her captor. In a Facebook post following her captor's arrest, Mobley wrote, "She raised me with everything I needed and most of all everything I wanted. My mother is no felon."
In an interview with ABC News, Kamiyah defended her mother. "She made one mistake, but I was loved," Kamiyah said. "From that one mistake, I was given the best life."
With tears in her eyes and a mesh screen between them, Kamiyah said goodbye to the woman who raised her, according to the Daily News. But that doesn't stop her from keeping in touch. Kamiyah still speaks to Gloria every day, according to the Sun.
Gloria, 51, was charged with kidnapping and interference of custody. She is being held without bond in the Jacksonville, Florida jail while she awaits her trial on February 8, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Department of Corrections.