An 18-year-old who was kidnapped as a newborn and raised by her abductor in a Raising Arizona-like plot said that she forgives—and loves—the woman she wrongly believed to be her mother.
“From that one mistake, I was given the best life,” Kamiyah Mobley said on Good Morning America this morning. “I had everything I ever needed, wanted. I had love, especially.”
Gloria Williams, 51, was arrested in South Carolina last week by investigators who claimed that she dressed up in nurse scrubs to steal Mobley when she was less than a day old in 1998. She then raised her for 18 years under the name Alexis Kelli Manigo.
“She will always be mom,” Mobley said. “I understand what she did was wrong, but just don’t lock her up and throw away the key.”
"She loved me for 18 years. She cared for me for 18 years," she added.
Mobley reconnected with her biological parents—Craig Aiken and Shanara Mobley—on Friday. She told GMA that she’s excited to get to know them.
“I feel like I do owe them that — to give them a chance, get to know them," she said. “When you find out you have another family out there, it’s just more love.”
Arika Williams, who believed that Mobley was her half-sister, told People magazine that Mobley had discovered her true identity two years ago, when she tried to get her birth certificate after being hired at a local restaurant.
“Lexy didn’t have that so she asked Miss Gloria for it and Miss Gloria kept brushing it off,” she claimed. “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.”
The young woman said that “Miss Gloria” kidnapped the infant after she had suffered a miscarriage.
[Image: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office]