The teen who was abducted 18 years ago defends the woman who allegedly kidnapped her.
In an interview with CNN and People, Kamiyah Mobley said she still loves her “mother,” Gloria Williams.
“I do feel like she raised me right. I do feel like she raised me great. I feel like I had a good life,” said Mobley, who lived as Alexis Manigo following her abduction.
“I have not been able to sit down and actually say what I think should happen, simply because I have this side, the Mobleys, probably thinking just lock [Williams] up,” Mobley said, adding, “Then I have this family saying they think this should happen. So I just choose not to really say my opinion and just stay neutral.”
She also told CNN that seeing Williams in police custody was hard.
“I just couldn’t take that she was in cuffs. She’s not an animal — that’s all I can say. I don’t think she deserves to be in cuffs.”
Mobley stressed that she wants Williams to know that she loves her.
“I love her to death, keep your head up and I love you. Hang in there,” Mobley said. “And I just want everybody else to know I love her, too.”
Police arrested Gloria Williams, 51, in South Carolina last week on charges that she kidnapped Mobley, who was 8 hours old, from a Florida hospital in 1998, the New York Daily News noted. Williams appeared in a Jacksonville courtroom Wednesday morning where she was denied bail.
It’s believed that Williams suffered a miscarriage about a week before the abduction. She then passed off Kamiyah as her own daughter to family and friends, who never suspected otherwise, including her then-boyfriend, the Daily Mail wrote.
Charles Manigo told ABC News that Williams told him she had given birth when he was out of town.
“It doesn’t change any feelings I have for her, the same love I have for her the day I held her to now, to 43 more years, she is my child,” Manigo said showing off a tattoo of her name on his arm. “I cant cut that off, I won’t cut that off.”
Mobley reunited with her birth parents, Shanara Mobley and Craig Aiken, soon after Williams’ arrest.
She told ABC News, “I feel like I do owe them that, to give them a chance, you know? Get to know them.”