Up until last Friday, 19-year-old Alexis Manigo was a normal high school graduate looking ahead to the future. This week, she’s an international news story. Manigo found out that she’s actually Kamiyah Mobley, kidnapped at birth in Jacksonville, Florida and raised by the only woman she knows as a mother, Gloria Williams of South Carolina. Williams is now in jail and the man who raised Manigo says he is as shocked as anyone else.
In a new interview with ABC News, Charles Manigo opens up about the harsh reality of knowing the girl he believed to be his own daughter for 18 years was really another couple’s child.
However, a Facebook post on a page that appears to be that of the abduction victim says Manigo “did nothing” as a father figure.
Mobley was only hours old on July 10, 1998 when authorities say her alleged abductor Gloria Williams posed as a health care worker and took her from a Jacksonville, Florida, hospital maternity ward. According to local reports, Mobley was briefly given to Williams because her family believed she was a nurse, while hospital staff believed Williams was a relative.
Williams was arrested Friday at her home in Walterboro, South Carolina where she and Manigo had raised Mobley — whom he says they had named Alexis Kelly.
“I named her — a name I had for a year,” a tearful Manigo told ABC News. “She was the love of my life.”
He says his ex-girlfriend told him she gave birth to their daughter when he was away. The two continued to date until 2003, raising Mobley together and sharing custody after they split. He says he was there for her recent prom, among other milestones.
However, the Facebook user that appears to be the victim disputes this account, writing, “He didn’t even help with [anything] that was done for that prom,” and adding, “He was the reason I didn’t go to my senior prom.”
Manigo had no idea Mobley had been kidnapped. Her disappearance in 1998 made national news and continued to garner attention as it turned cold over the years. A series of leads via the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children led authorities to Mobley, authorities said — with DNA evidence confirming her true identity.
PHOTO: ABC Screenshot