In July 1998, Kamiyah Mobley, a tiny and vulnerable 8-hour-old baby was snatched from her devastated mother who had just given birth to her at the University Medical Center in Jacksonville
For the proceeding 18 years Shanara Mobley would freeze and save a slice of cake when each birthday passed, never giving up hope that one day she would be reunited with her child.
As a teen mother of 16, Mobley appeared to be an easy target to Gloria Williams, who had spent around 12 hours scanning the hospital for a baby to snatch. Williams had recently miscarried and in her grief had decided she wanted “her” baby back.
She devised a plot to pose as a healthcare worker, and after befriending Mobley and spending about 5 hours with her, told her that she needed to take the newborn to be checked by a doctor, falsely claiming the baby appeared unwell and feverish.
Williams then promptly disappeared with the infant
Mobley’s mother-in-law, Velma Aiken, even recalls having suspicions just before the kidnapping took place. But still, they had trusted her as the hospital staff didn’t seem to be concerned about her.
As a result, by the time the family had alerted hospital staff that the baby had been gone too long, Williams had been given sufficient time to escape without a trace. It turns out the hospital assumed she was a family member.
A grand scale manhunt that shook the country then took place, but it failed to come up with any conclusive leads – despite 2,500 false potential leads throughout the past nearly 2 decades.
The family even sued the hospital for negligence and received a settlement of $1,500,000.
The case file always remained open in Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and it was late last year that finally 2 leads that would take them to Kamiyah surfaced.
Suspicions were raised when fraudulent documents came to light, that suggested that an 18-year-old girl called Alexis Manigo, living in a small town called Walterboro in South Carolina, had identity documents that were identical to the missing Kamiyah.
Ultimately it was the vigilance of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that cracked the case.
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