Teen kidnapped as baby Defense Abductor When 16 year old Alexis Kelly Menago sat down to fill out a job application, all she was worried about was being qualified for the position. But as she dug into her background, she ended uncovered a truth about the past that shattered her entire view of the world. It all seemed almost too surreal to Alexis. On July 10, 1998, in Jacksonville, Florida, a little girl entered the world kicking and screaming. Her mother, Shanara Mobiley, was just a teenager, unwed and scared. Still, she was determined to give her the best life she possibly could.
Due to complications during the delivery, Shanara and baby Kamala had to spend some extra time in the hospital. And during that time, a nurse in scrubs entered the room where the duo rested. The woman had a purse around her shoulder, which was odd for a nurse on call, but Shanara trusted her. For the next 5 hours, the nurse chatted up the new mom and performed routine checks. One check turned up alarming news. Newborn Kamala had a fever and needed medical attention, the nurse reassured Shanara as she wrapped Kamala in a blanket and left the room.
That would be the last time Shanara ever saw her newborn baby. With the purse slung over her shoulder, the woman posing as a nurse walked right out of the hospital, undetected with ten day old Kamiya in her arms. By the time the hospital in Shanara realized Kamaya had vanished, Kamaya was long gone. Once a rough sketch of the suspect was completed, police officers flooded the halls looking for any possible lead on the case. The FBI was brought in to assist with the investigation after local authorities reached a roadblock in the case. Tips were coming in, but each followup just led to more dead ends.
The media went wild over the news of Kamaya’s disappearance. Shinara was completely heartbroken. A few months turned to years and the case went cold. Eventually, the media moved on, but Shanara never did. Ten years after Kamaya disappeared, Shanara gave an interview to a local newspaper about what life was like without resolution. She often woke up in the middle of the night wondering what came of her stolen child and of the woman with the purse who took her. But 18 years later, police received a fresh tip that reopened the case. The lead took them all the way to Walterborough, South Carolina, to the front door of a woman named Gloria Williams.
An investigation of the property revealed a set of documents the birth certificate and Social Security card of an Alexis Kelly Monaco, Gloria’s 18 year old daughter who had the same birthday as Kamiah Mobley. Following the discovery, authorities arrested the 51 year old for the kidnapping of Kamaya Mobley, 18 years prior, she was extradited to Florida and Alexis was subject to a DNA test that confirmed she was Kamala. This was not news to her. As it turns out, Kamaya, then known as Alexis, had an idea that something wasn’t right.
A few years before when she tried to apply for a job. To be hired, Kamaya needed to present her birth certificate and Social Security card. Hers were, of course, fraudulent. Upon learning the illegitimacy of her documents, Kamala and her half sister, Arika Williams sat down with Gloria to confront her about the issue. Immediately, Gloria broke down and told Kamia the truth. She and her thenboyfriend Charles were expecting a little baby girl together. They were going to name her Alexis. Unfortunately, Gloria lost the baby heartbroken. She did the only thing she could think of.
She stole Kamaya from a young mother in Florida, she explained, because she wanted to bring a baby back to her exboyfriend, Charles Manigo and rekindle their relationship. At first, things were great between Gloria, Charles and their new baby, Alexis. But then in 2003, they finally ended their relationship. Charles left and Gloria kept Kamiah, Alexis and all her secrets. At first, Kamiah was furious, hurt and betrayed by her mother’s story. But after processing what she’d learned, she realized Gloria had been an outstanding mother to her. But the investigation continued. Nevertheless, Kamiya made it clear she was not mad at Gloria and that she intended to defend her in court.
This left Kamaya’s birth parents in limbo. Knowing what her mother had done, Kamiah grew curious about her birth family. When you find out you have another family out there, she said, it’s just more love. So after 18 years, Kamia reconnected with the woman who had given birth to her in Jacksonville as well as her true father, Craig Aiken. Indeed, there was just more love. Still, Kamiya was in a strange place. She knew the woman who raised her had committed a crime. But at the end of the day, Gloria had been so kind to her, she couldn’t have asked for a better mother.
After appearing on ABC’s good morning America, Kamala explained that because of one person’s awful mistake, she was given a blessed life. She made it clear that she didn’t want her mother, Gloria, to suffer. However, on June 18, 2018, Gloria was sentenced to 18 years in a Florida prison for kidnapping a grieving. Kamaya, who preferred the name Alexis, confessed she wished police officers never found her. C reuniting a stolen child with their birth parents is never easy and she was lucky to get more answers than most.