Kamiyah Mobley still speaks regularly with the woman who raised her for nearly 20 years after stealing her, as a newborn, from a Florida hospital. And she still refers to her abductor as “mom.”
“She calls and still gets on me. Yes she does,” Mobley, 19, told Good Morning America on Monday in her first interview since Gloria Williams, her kidnapper and the woman she long believed to be her mother, was sentenced for her crimes.
“I actually got closure now,” Mobley said on GMA. “Everything is done. No more court. No more back and forth.”
While Mobley reportedly lives in the South Carolina home where she grew up following her kidnapping, she is developing a relationship with her biological family, in Florida.
Depending on whom she is speaking with, she goes by either her birth name or the name Williams gave her, Alexis Manigo, according to GMA.
Mobley and Williams speak every few days, she said — sometimes once a week, sometimes twice, sometimes more.
“For her, she loves each family and [is] trying to navigate that water to make sure that she’s not in the middle of a feud or she doesn’t want to upset anybody,” Mobley’s attorney, Justin Bamberg, told GMA.
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Williams pleaded guilty earlier this year to kidnapping and custodial interference and was sentenced Friday under a plea deal in Duval County, Florida, to 18 years on the kidnapping charge and five years on the interference charge, to be served concurrently.
Prosecutors say she abducted the hours-old Mobley from UF Health Jacksonville, then called University Medical Center, on July 10, 1998, while disguised as a nurse
The headline-making case broke open in January 2017, when authorities announced that anonymous tips led them to discover Williams raised Mobley in South Carolina.
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The revelation that Mobley was alive and well attracted international attention, and her return came as a startling relief to her biological family.
Still, the confirmation of Mobley’s life as an unwitting kidnapping victim set up a series of thorny entanglements for her and her loved ones — between those who raised her and those she had been stolen from for so long.
“It doesn’t heal now. I’m still hurting. When you’re reaching out to my child, that is my child,” Shanara Mobley, Kamiyah’s biological mother, said in court in May, during a two-day hearing. “I am your mother, Kamiyah! I am your mother.”
Williams also spoke out at the May hearing, reportedly saying on the stand: “I can’t explain where I was back then 20 years ago. I know I wronged you and I’m so sorry.”
“It just looked like a dysfunctional family reunion,” Kamiyah told GMA of the court proceedings. “So I’m glad that we’re done with it ’cause it’s like this side is over here, this side is over here. This side hates this side. This side doesn’t want to talk to this side. It was just too much.”
“From that one mistake, I was given the best life. I was,” she said last year of Williams. “I had everything I ever needed, wanted. I had love especially. I understand what she did was wrong, but just don’t lock her up and throw away the key like everything she did was just awful.”
Kamiyah said Monday that she was a high-school junior when Williams told her she had been kidnapped — but she told no one because she loved Williams.
Now with a job and a Social Security Number, according to GMA, Kamiyah said she’s looking toward the future. Last week’s sentence for Williams was not a surprise to her.
“It was actually good … because at least I didn’t expect like eight and she got 18. I figured that was gonna happen,” Kamiyah said. “But I mean, she’ll still be alive. They didn’t give her like 30 or 45. She’ll come out walking and talking. It’s fine.”
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