Washington Post reports that the ramifications of Kamiyah’s abduction in July 1998 — and the unsuccessful search for her in the decades after — were spelled out in court Thursday. Kamiyah’s biological parents testified that they themselves were viewed as suspects by police, neighbors and even each other. Aiken’s grandmother testified that Shanara Mobley had “turned on me” at one point, wondering if she was behind the kidnapping, the AP reported.

At one point, Shanara Mobley shouted out to her daughter, now 19, who was sitting in the back of the courtroom. “I am your mother, Kamiyah!” she cried. “I am your mother.”

During a second hearing on Friday, Williams detailed the circumstances of the kidnapping. About a month before the kidnapping, Williams testified, she’d had a miscarriage. She had also lost custody of two other children and was in an abusive relationship that led to her miscarriage, according to the AP.

After the loss of her pregnancy, Williams said, she felt her life was out of her control. She drove from South Carolina to Jacksonville, Fla., her mind on autopilot, with no intention of abducting a child, she said.

Yet on the morning of July 10, 1998, Williams posed as a nurse in a blue floral smock and green scrub pants and walked into a Jacksonville hospital’s newborn ward, carrying a bag. She put the baby in the bag and left.

“What I remember is I was running, I was walking, and at any time someone could grab my arm and say, ‘What do you have in the bag?’” Williams said, according to the AP.

The abduction at the time gripped the attention of Florida and much of the country. Authorities sealed the hospital, stopped every visitor, halted buses and put airport police on alert for a baby. Row by row, trains leaving Jacksonville were searched. Room by room, the hospital was combed.

Officials were optimistic.

“There’s a high percentage in getting these babies back,” a Jacksonville sheriff’s spokesman told reporters the day of the kidnapping. “We want to put our hands on that baby.”

As each day passed, Kamiyah’s family never stopped wondering whether she was alive. Aiken was in jail during his daughter’s birth and abduction, serving an eight-month sentence for impregnating Shanara Mobley when she was 15 and he was an adult, according to the Florida Times-Union.

“I wonder what she would look like,” he told the paper from lockup in 1999. He had recurring dreams of holding his baby, playing with her, but could never attach a face to his child.

“The only thing I have to remember her by is her name,” he told the paper at the time. “Kamiyah.”

Posters of Kamiyah were plastered all over Jacksonville in the first year of her disappearance — and over many years to come. Authorities never managed to locate her — despite a $250,000 reward for her recovery, at least three appearances on “America’s Most Wanted” and a search across multiple countries.

The child’s family eventually sued the hospital, later settling in 2000 in a case that prompted hospitals across central Florida to tighten security for newborns, the Orlando Sentinel reported in 2000.

Gloria Williams testifies on the second day of her sentencing hearing. (Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union/AP)
Williams told Kamiyah her true identity shortly before the arrest, after realizing Kamiyah couldn’t get a driver’s license without a valid birth certificate or Social Security card, according to the AP. Kamiyah shared the secret with a friend but not police. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children eventually received an anonymous tip about Kamiyah’s whereabouts, and authorities were notified.

A DNA test in early 2017 confirmed Kamiyah’s identity, and authorities described her as “clearly a victim in this case,” otherwise in good health and living as a “normal 18-year-old woman.” It would be her decision to reunite with her biological family, they said.

She met her biological parents soon after though FaceTime, according to the New York Daily News. They were impressed by how intelligent and respectful she sounded, they told the paper.

In court on Friday, Williams apologized to Kamiyah’s birth mother, according to the AP.

She then turned to Kamiyah.

“I will always love you, always,” Williams told her. “But you’re not mine. Your mother and father are sitting right here.


  1. Dem ya psychological warfare nuh fair. Everybody loses here. Kmt.

    The last case like this, Carlina White, the abducted woman was not able to develop a relationship with her parents and barely kept in contact with the “mother” that raised her after she was sent to prison.

  2. How about 18 years? 😀 one for each she took from the bioligicals.

    Only thing wrong in yhe report is the part about respectable. Dat likkle gyal show har self pon Iyanla fix my life…me “vile” :p , but she do up the woman wid no good reason.

    1. No PP, the biological parents will never bond with her, so it’s a lifetime loss, not just 18 years. Mi surprise Dem Neva limb har up.

    2. That child is so rude but at the same thing I can only imagine the many conflicting emotions she’s going thru PP smh I feel it to my core for the mother

      1. The mother is who I sympathize with too. The father, boyfriend and stepmother look like her emotional victims when they were on ‘Fix my life’.

        She know the facts of her being taken and a terrorize her birth mother…she lucky de girl bring har to life. She is mean spirited naturally.

  3. But this likkle gal havr no manners,watch her on inlya fix my life
    Sorry but shes terrible

    1. Bb, when she went off on Iyanla all me catch me fraid. She no normal and mek you wonder how she awful so.

      You remeber whrn she aay she so up people worst than hoqnahe do Iyanla? She pass poqda keg explosive.

  4. She unloads all that anger caused by the crazy lady that kidnapped her on everyone else but that lady. She doesn’t want to hate that lady but deep down inside she does. Just like women who get beat by their man. They won’t fight them back but they are quick to knock another female out for little or nothing. Same with kids whose parents beat them. They can’t beat the parents so they unload that anger on everybody else in their way.

    1. I disagree I dont think she hates the lady at all..I think she hates the situation but the lady raised her kinda spoilt so she looks down on her real parents as kinda beneath her and is happy about being raised the way she was.

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