Kamiyah Mobley – a baby girl stolen as a newborn from a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida – has been found alive in South Carolina after more than 18 years, police say.
The girl, who was abducted in July 1998, was found after a tip.
Gloria Williams, 51, have been charged with kidnapping, authorities in Walterboro, South Caroline, have said.
Kamiyah Mobley was living under another name and believed Gloria Williams to be her mother. Her biological family has been notified of the news.
Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office said DNA tests had confirmed Kamiyah Mobley’s identity.
She appeared in good health, a “normal 18-year-old woman”, the office said.
It said it had acted on 2,500 tips since the abduction and received one last year to @MissingKids that eventually broke the case.
The office showed the original composite images released at the time of the kidnapping, along with a photograph of Gloria Williams, who was arrested at her home on January 13.
The baby girl was only eight hours old when she was taken by a woman posing as a health care worker at the University Medical Center, now known as UF Health Jacksonville.
Gloria Williams told Kamiyah Mobley’s mother, Shanara, that her baby had a fever and needed to be checked. The woman took the baby out of the room and disappeared.
The case brought significant media attention as Shanara Mobley tried to locate her child.
Although the biological family had been notified of the discovery and were “elated”, the Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office said: “It is up to the victim on how contact will be made. The victim is now an adult.”
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said: “She had an idea that something may have occurred but… imagine her trying to process this.
“She was abducted as a newborn and needs time to process this… We want to respect her privacy and we ask that you do too.”
An astonishing coincidence has led to the discovery of Zephany Nurse, who was stolen from her mother’s arms in Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital as a newborn 17 years ago.
A 50-year-old woman has appeared in court over the baby’s kidnapping.
Celeste and Morne Nurse, the girl’s biological parents, were reunited with her after she was enrolled in the same school as her sister. They lost their three-day-old daughter when she was snatched from her sleeping mother’s arms in her hospital bed in April 1997.
After seeing the pair’s likeness, the biological family invited the girl for coffee and then contacted police.
DNA tests have confirmed the identity of the girl, who has been placed in the care of social workers.
Morne Nurse said his daughter was receiving extensive counseling.
His wife said it was “like a dream” to see her daughter again.
“When she met Cassidy [her sister], there was just an incredible connection and it started from there,” she told CapeTalk radio.
“Her birthday is on April 28. This year we can celebrate it with her. It will be her first birthday with us and we have to plan something very big.”
Celeste and Morné Nurse, who went on to have three more children, have celebrated Zephany’s birthday every year since she disappeared, never giving up hope that their first-born would come back to them someday.
Zephany grew up with a different name, and a different family, never knowing she was not their real daughter.
A relative of the alleged kidnapper told reporters outside the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court: “We grew up with the child, we took care of her.”
The arrested woman and her husband, who live in the Cape Flats, have no other children.
The woman is being charged with kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children’s Act, in that she fraudulently pretended that she was the biological mother of a child, police said.
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