Niecy Nash, star of TNT’s “Claws” and Netflix’s “When They See Us,” is set to star as convicted kidnapper Gloria Williams in “Kidnapped: The Kamiyah Mobley Story,” based on the 1998 abduction of Baby Kamiyah from a Jacksonville hospital.
The made-for-TV movie, scheduled to premiere in 2020 on cable’s Lifetime, also stars Rayven Symone Ferrell (2018′s “The Hate U Give”) as Kamiyah Mobley and Ta’Rhonda Jones (Fox’s “Empire”) as Shanara Mobley, Kamiyah’s mother.
The movie tells the true-crime story of the July 10, 1998, abduction of hours-old Kamiyah Mobley from then-University Medical Center (now UF Health Jacksonville) by Gloria Williams, a South Carolina woman dressed in medical scrubs who, after wandering the hospital’s halls, befriended 15-year-old Shanara Mobley and then stole her baby hours later.
Both Williams and Baby Kamiyah disappeared without a trace — for nearly years.
Then, on Jan. 13, 2017, Jacksonville police announced they had found Kamiyah, safe and living with her abductor, Williams, in South Carolina.
The discovery of Kamiyah, though, came more than a year after Williams confessed to Kamiyah — whom she had raised as Alexis Manigo — that she had taken her at birth when Manigo pressed her for her Social Security card so she could get a job.
Manigo didn’t turn her in, but she eventually told someone else the secret. In August and November of 2016, two different tips came into the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about the Mobley baby from 1998 being alive and well in Walterboro, S.C., with Williams. When Kamiyah was found, Williams was arrested and jailed.
In June 2018, a judge sentenced Williams to 18 years in prison, one year for each year the family suffered not knowing if Kamiyah was dead or alive.
“Kidnapped: The Kamiyah Mobley Story,” is the first movie greenlit by Lifetime in its partnership with “GMA” host Robin Roberts, who is producing the movie as well as a companion documentary, set to air after the movie.
“I’m thrilled to share this young woman’s story and produce something so poignant for the Lifetime audience,” said Roberts, President of Rock’n Robin Productions, in a news release. “I can’t imagine anyone else tackling the complex role of Gloria than Niecy Nash. She’s a talented and versatile actress, and I can’t wait to see it all come together.”
In July 2018, 20 years after Baby Kamiyah’s abduction, the Times-Union launched a six-part serial podcast “Have You Seen Kamiyah?” retelling the story of the kidnapping and discovery of Kamiyah, the arrest and trial of Williams and the aftermath of it all on Kamiyah’s mother, Shanara Mobley.