Written by Keitha Nelson, anchor with Good Morning Jacksonville.
The trailer for ‘Stolen by My Mother; The Kamiyah Mobley Story’ has been released and it’s gaining a lot of attention.
It’s based on a true story. A story that started right here in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s about a young woman left torn after her daughter was kidnapped at just eight hours old and forced to live a lie.
The cast includes Niecy Nash who plays Gloria Williams, the woman who kidnapped Mobley from University Medical Center on July 10, 1998.
I reported on this case when Mobley was found in Walterboro, South Carolina in Jan. of 2017.
"Forced to live a lie..."
Williams was arrested for kidnapping Mobley and initially pleaded not guilty.
But in Feb. 2018 she accepted a guilty plea, forgoing a full trial. When she testified in court in May 2018 during her sentencing hearing and her words left many in the courtroom feeling dissatisfied.
Her testimony unearthed even more unanswered questions.
It made no sense that she would as she said hit the road on July 9, 1998, leaving from South Carolina and randomly end up in Jacksonville at University Medical Center. Williams says she had recently suffered a miscarriage and was distraught.
I’m not sure if that garnered sympathy from anyone who heard her story but as she spoke all I could picture was 16-year-old Sharana Mobley crying out in television news reports from 1998 for her baby to be returned to her safely. My heart ached for her knowing it must have felt as if a piece of herself was snatched away.
I remember sitting down with Kamiyah Mobley and her father Craig Aiken for an interview in January of 2018 as they celebrated one year of being reunited and I thought to myself this story sounds like a movie.
‘Stolen by My Mother; The Kamiyah Mobley Story’ is being called a ‘ripped from the headlines feature.’ It certainly is. It’s likely a bit too real for those personally involved. Mobley’s story captivated the Jacksonville community and far beyond. It seemed preposterous that a woman from out of town would be able to pull off a kidnapping on her own from a busy local hospital and rise that kidnapped baby for nearly 18 years without anyone knowing the truth.
“Kamiyah, I am your mother!”
Kamiyah found out she was kidnapped at birth two years before being reunited with her birth parents. She chose to protect the woman she knew as her ‘mom’ and didn’t report her kidnapping to authorities. That fact no-doubt hurt Shanara Mobley whose passionate plea in court touched so many of us during Williams’ sentencing hearing, “Kamiyah, I am your mother!”
I recently sat down to be interviewed by an ABC producer for the accompanying documentary to the lifetime movie set to be released on January 18, 2020.
That in-depth interview included many details and dredged up old feelings. Now a mother of six-month-old twins, I look at Williams’ crime as even more heinous.
Shanara Mobley was just 15 years old when she found out she was pregnant. She had a difficult upbringing and appeared to be determined to raise her daughter as best she could. She was young, just 16-years-old when Kamiyah was born but capable of loving her child that was kidnapped from her.
"Many facts were purposely omitted and have never been released to the public..."
I’ve interviewed Kamiyah’s father, Aiken several times and he’s told me how excited Shanara was to welcome their child into the world. There were many theories spoken by people who live in Jacksonville about what happened to baby Kamiyah.
When she was found safe in 2017 we all breathed a sigh of relief but wondered what now, what next, what really happened?
I still say to this day that many facts were purposely omitted and have never been released to the public.
Perhaps Williams didn’t tell the entire truth because she’s protecting someone, if not herself, maybe the child she stole and named Alexis Manigo? I remember asking Kamiyah during our interview in 2018 which name she prefers to go by and she responded that it didn’t matter.
In Jacksonville, people call her Kamiyah, and in the town where she was raised in South Carolina, she’s known as Alexis.
Sounds odd to us on the outside looking in but it’s her way of coping through the two very different lives that could have been.