A New Year’s miracle

As several people have already told me, Kamiyah Mobley has resurfaced alive and well in the small town of Waltersboro, South Carolina. After EIGHTEEN YEARS. She is, I believe, the youngest person profiled on the Charley Project; she was abducted from the hospital in Jacksonville, Florida only hours after birth, on July 10, 1998.

It’s much like the story of Carlina White: Kamiyah was raised under the name Alexis Manigo, and thought her abductor was her mother. A couple of months ago, “Alexis” started to suspect there was more to the story, and DNA testing has just verified her true identity.

The abductor, 51-year-old Gloria Williams, has been arrested and will be extradited to Florida to face kidnapping charges. Her prior criminal offenses include welfare fraud and writing bad checks. If convicted of kidnapping, she could get a life sentence. (Carlina’s kidnapper got twelve years.) If you ask me, in cases like this, the abductor ought to have to serve AT LEAST one day for every day the child was missing.

From what little has come out so far, Kamiyah/Alexis grew up in poverty and moved around a lot across several different states. She was able to graduate high school, though. It says Williams is married, but I don’t know whether she was married to this man when Kamiyah was taken or whether he was complicit in the abduction.

I am delighted for Kamiyah’s family, though I feel very sorry for Kamiyah herself; she must feel absolutely torn to bits right now. The sheriff was quoted as saying Kamiyah/Alexis “appears to be a normal 18-year-old woman” who is “taking it as well as you can imagine.” A neighbor said, “She wasn’t an abused child or a child who got in trouble. But she grew up with a lie for 18 years.”

Maybe Carlina can offer some advice to Kamiyah. I know Elizabeth Smart reached out to Jaycee Dugard after the latter was found alive.

A few articles:

15 thoughts on “A New Year’s miracle

  1. Mia January 13, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    Is it awful of me to assume that Kamiyah/Alexis probably had a better life with her kidnapper than she did with her biological parents? I mean, really young mom, dad in jail, etc don’t usually add up to a good, solid foundation for children. It’s also concerning that the parents weren’t worried about finding her. Not excusing Gloria Williams’ actions at all; just wondering if the girl would have turned out okay with that family dynamic at work.

    • Marshall Loveday January 13, 2017 / 8:59 pm

      Fascinating case……. I don’t think we should assume that Kamiyah / Alexis had a better life than she would have had if not kidnapped. Her mom didn’t have a chance to BE her mother. What Gloria Williams did was a horrible crime, and she should be punished for it. Perhaps if Kamiyah / Alexis speaks up for her at a sentencing hearing, maybe a judge will have some compassion, but there’s no excusing what Gloria Williams did.

      • Meaghan January 13, 2017 / 9:21 pm

        I’m with you, Marshall. We don’t know what sort of mother Gloria Williams was like, or whether there was a father in the picture, because that information hasn’t come out yet. And we don’t know what sort of parents Kamiyah would have had, because they never got the chance to prove themselves. Just because a mother is young or a father is incarcerated for a time, doesn’t mean they’ll be bad parents.

        Plus… if a woman is crazy and/or cold enough to KIDNAP someone else’s baby, something tells me she’s not going to be a normal mother to that baby.

      • Mia January 13, 2017 / 10:00 pm

        Yeah, there’s no telling what other rules Gloria broke… its hard telling where her mind was when she kidnapped her and how she kept Kamiyah’s identity hidden all those years. I hesitate to cast Gloria as a heinous criminal because I do feel sorry for women who can’t have kids and desperately want them. Then again, I’m sure she saw Kamiyah’s mother as an easy target since she was so young, which makes her a predator in more ways than one. My original comment was just my first impression… probably not the reality of the situation.

      • Meaghan January 14, 2017 / 2:27 pm

        I know that in many of these cases the infant isn’t taken because the abductor necessarily wants a child. Often it’s because the abductor has convinced her male partner that she’s pregnant (to keep him from leaving her, to make him marry her or provide financial support, for whatever reason) and has to follow through with a baby. Not saying that’s what happened here, only that it’s possible.

    • Brian F Lockett January 14, 2017 / 1:26 pm

      There are countless people who have had kids before they’re truly ready to that turn out to be great parents.

      And her dad was actually in jail because of Kamiyah. But because he created her, not because he abused her (or her mother) in any way. There wasn’t a huge age gap between her parents (3-4 years) at all, but it “technically” amounted to statutory rape. That’s like a Senior dating a Freshman. Not like a senior citizen dating a 7th-grader or something.

      Whether Williams was a “good parent” or not, she ensured that Kamiyah’s entire life to be filled with nothing but lies and deception.

  2. diamondlil16 January 14, 2017 / 2:35 am

    Wonderful news! Kudos to the tips that helped solve this case. Too bad the bio parents never agreed to age progressions as perhaps she could’ve been discovered sooner.

    No doubt she loves the only mother she has ever known, but now she has the chance to make connections to her biological family.

    The sketches of the abductor do favor the woman.

  3. Amy January 14, 2017 / 5:19 am

    This is the same hospital where our son was born in 2000. Allusions to her case were made by our attorney there after another incident, involving our son, happened (nothing serious/life threatening and we had an attorney because of adoption- not the incident) Still, the place was a big lax even in 2000.

    • Meaghan January 14, 2017 / 2:25 pm

      I was once talking to a friend of mine about infants abducted from hospitals; his wife had recently had a baby. (This would have been in 2002-ish.) He told me in the hospital the baby was attached to “a LoJack.”

      • fluttergirl January 14, 2017 / 3:00 pm

        Both of my babies (b. 2005, 2007) had LoJacks. I was told that if you brought the baby too close to the elevator or stairwell, it would set off a silent alarm. It was very reassuring and I appreciated the safe feeling it gave me.

      • Julie January 14, 2017 / 4:31 pm

        When a friend of mine had a twins they had devices attached to them (not sure if it was called a LoJack), but if the baby was taken too far an alarm would go off. Sad that the world has come to something like that, but it is because of stupid women (like this woman who kidnapped this poor child) that those type of precautions are needed. The whole thing is tragic. And I agree with Meaghan. The kidnapper should spend a day in prison for everyday the child was missing.

  4. L January 14, 2017 / 10:08 am

    OT – looks like Shyla Lewis from Tulare California has been found. You might want to take down her case file. She has been active on Facebook for years since the disappearance. It’s her for certain. Looks like she is doing very well now.

    • diamondlil16 January 14, 2017 / 11:03 am

      More good news! Good job L for checking and finding that out. Gives me hope that many more of these cases can end on a happy note just thru tracking their social media footprints.

    • Meaghan January 14, 2017 / 2:33 pm

      Thanks, I’ll purge her.

  5. Alice January 14, 2017 / 5:56 pm

    This is just unbelievable! I was actually writing about Kamiyah YESTERDAY and a few days before that. (I’m trying to make a list on children that may have been rescued with AMBER Alerts – Jacob Wetterling and Carlina White are also on the list)

    I actually asked the universe to help her case be solved, although I wasn’t expecting it this quickly. (Thanks, Mother Goddess!)

    Maybe this could help in others checking out their history? Although as I mentioned on another entry, maybe there’s at least one child out there abducted whilst still young that had an undiagnosed mental condition i.e., autism, ADHD. It’s out of the realms of possibility.

    Anyway, this mus be really traumatic for all those involved and I hope Kamiyah can have a happy ending.

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