Kamiyah Mobley, who was abducted as a newborn and stolen from a hospital 18 years ago, has reunited with her biological parents.
According to CBS affiliate WCSC, the teen and her biological parents, dad Craig Aiken and mom Shanara Mobley, reunited with their daughter during a 45-minute meeting at the Walterboro Police Department in Colleton County, South Carolina, on Saturday, January 14.
“First meeting was beautiful, it was wonderful, couldn’t went no better,” Kamiyah’s dad told WCSC following their family reunion. “She was glad to meet us.”
Aiken told WCSC that he let Kamiyah know during their meeting how much she meant to him, and said that he is happy to get to know her after so many years of missing his child.
“It’s a feeling that you can’t explain it, it’s hard to put it in words right now — it’s hard to deal with this here right now,” he continued. “We are just trying to process it — 18 years, it’s going to be hard to make that up.”
Kamiyah was abducted from a Jacksonville, Florida, hospital just hours after her birth in July 1998. She was allegedly given to a woman named Gloria Williams, who posed as a health-care worker. According to several local reports, Williams was given the child because Kamiyah’s family believed she was a nurse, while hospital staff thought she was a family member.
The alleged abductor — who has been charged with first-degree kidnapping and third-degree custody interference — was arrested at her Walterboro, South Carolina, home on Friday, January 13.
Williams’ ex-boyfriend Charles Manigo, who thought he was Kamiyah’s biological father, spoke to ABC News on Sunday, January 15, about finding out the truth about his former partner and the young girl he believed to be his own. According to Manigo, Williams fooled him by claiming to have carried the child and given birth while he was away.
“I named her — a name I had for a year. She was the love of my life,” Manigo tearfully said, adding that he had given her the name Alexis Kelly. He told ABC News that although he and Williams called it quits on their relationship in 2003, they continued to coparent Kamiyah and shared custody after their breakup.
Despite having to face the fact that he is not Kamiyah’s biological parent, Manigo said that their bond will remain intact. “She’s still my child,” he explained to ABC News. “I love her just as much — that’s not going to change. She’s the love of my life. She’s my child.”
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