JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For 18 years, Craig Aiken wondered about the fate of his baby girl, who was kidnapped just hours after her birth from Jacksonville's University Hospital on July 1998.
On Friday, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office told his family that his daughter, Kamiyah Mobley, had been found alive and well, and arrested her alleged kidnapper, Gloria Williams, 51. Williams was arrested at her home in Walterboro, S.C. home.
Velma Aiken, Kamiyah's grandmother, said she never gave up hope and has been praying year after year since her granddaughter disappeared.
"I prayed and said 'Lord, let them be that they found the baby in good health," Velma said.
On July 10, 1998, just eight hours after Kamiyah's birth, Williams allegedly dressed up as a nurse and entered her mother, Shanara Mobley's hospital room at the hospital, now UF Health-Jacksonville. Police say Williams told Mobley that her newborn baby had a fever and exited the room, and later the hospital, with the baby and disappeared.
An intense investigation was launched.
"Everyday you get up, there's always hope," said Craig, Kamiyah's father. "I wake up and believe she's awake too. There's always hope."
Both Velma and Craig told First Coast News that they spoke to Kamiyah via Facetime on Friday. They said they were very excited to see her face and that Kamiyah greatly resembles her father.
When asked about an upcoming reunion, Craig replied: "Yes, I can't wait. It's been 18 years. I can't wait no longer."