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Florida teen snatched at birth pleads for leniency
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Florida teen snatched at birth pleads for leniency

The Florida teen snatched at birth and raised under a false identity has issued an extraordinary plea for leniency as her kidnapper 'mom' prepares to stand trial next month - telling DailyMailTV: 'It's not like she tortured me.' 

Last year, Kamiyah Mobley learned that she had been living a lie for 18 years, but she still refuses to label Gloria Williams a criminal for stealing her from her parents from the hospital when she was just eight hours old and posing as her biological mother.

And while she recognizes Williams could spend years behind bars, Kamiyah says she's already forgiven her for the astonishing deception - and will never turn her back on the impostor.

Kamiyah laid bare her tumultuous emotions in an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV exactly one year after cops finally solved the riddle of her 1998 abduction and arrested Williams, 52, on kidnapping charges.

'Don't get me wrong, I do feel like it was wrong. But we talked about it and I can understand at the time what was going on,' said Kamiyah, now aged 19. 'I sympathize with her, I'm not mad at her - of course I forgive her.

One year later: Kamiyah Mobley, 19, has been adjusting to her new life with her real family a year after her kidnapper 'mother' was arrested 

One year later: Kamiyah Mobley, 19, has been adjusting to her new life with her real family a year after her kidnapper 'mother' was arrested 

Mobley says she has formed an 'incredible bond' with her biological father Craig Aiken (pictured) 42, while staying weeks at a time at his home in Jacksonville, Florida. She says she enjoys having a dad she can 'call and talk to for hours'

Mobley says she has formed an 'incredible bond' with her biological father Craig Aiken (pictured) 42, while staying weeks at a time at his home in Jacksonville, Florida. She says she enjoys having a dad she can 'call and talk to for hours'

'I am certain that she's going to get time but I'm hoping not very, very long. I think they should be lenient. It's not like she took me and tortured me my whole life. She took care of me very well.'

Kamiyah has spent the past year forging new ties with her biological parents, Shanara Mobley, 36, and Craig Aiken, 42, as well as getting to know the numerous siblings she never realized she had.

She's already formed an 'incredible bond' with Aiken, staying at his Jacksonville home for weeks at a time and celebrating Christmas with him, his wife Shannon, 42, and her eight half-siblings.

But her defense of Williams has made it harder for Kamiyah to rebuild her relationship with Mobley, who last year wrote on Facebook: 'The tears won't stop. I see my baby girl wanting this lady in her life and not me.'

Kamiyah told DailyMailTV: 'It's been harder for my mother to cope. We are working on our relationship. I don't like to define which one is my mother, I like to be respectful of both parties.

'I don't like to take away from either one of their duties or what they did. I don't want to pick sides.'

Mobley was just 16 years old when she gave birth to Kamiyah, her first child, at 6:55am on July 10, 1998.

Family: Kamiyah spent Christmas with her dad's wife and her eight half-siblings who she's been getting to know 

Family: Kamiyah spent Christmas with her dad's wife and her eight half-siblings who she's been getting to know 

Back to her roots: Kamiyah and her new siblings (L toR) Shadawn, 24,  Caydhen 6, Kamiyah, Shuriah, 15, Shakaria, 18, her dad Craig, and Cameron, one

Back to her roots: Kamiyah and her new siblings (L toR) Shadawn, 24,  Caydhen 6, Kamiyah, Shuriah, 15, Shakaria, 18, her dad Craig, and Cameron, one

Soon after, a woman wearing blue scrubs and surgical gloves came into the room at University Medical Centre in Jacksonville before carrying the 8lb 2oz infant away.

Mobley assumed the kidnapper was a nurse but investigators say it was Williams impersonating a hospital employee.

'Please bring my baby back,' Mobley wept afterwards in a harrowing TV appeal. 'If you were faking a pregnancy or you just can't have no kids, how do you think I feel?'

Williams had indeed miscarried a child a week before but had kept it a secret from her parents and two sons Antoine and Andre, then aged 10 and 11.

When she returned home her family never had any reason to doubt that the adorable new arrival, Alexis Kelli, was their own flesh and blood.

Aiken was in jail at the time of the birth for sleeping with Mobley when he was 19 and she was 15.

But he told DailyMailTV he doesn't resent Kamiyah for refusing to sever ties with the woman who robbed him of the chance to cradle her as a baby or watch her growing up.

'She can't help what happened with Gloria or the feelings she's got for Gloria,' said Aiken, a radio DJ and property manager.

'She just wants her mama to understand that she's not trying to do anything to hurt her. The last thing she wants to do is hurt her mama.

'What I try and do is block out all the negativity and just focus on building that relationship with her. That helps me cope better too.

Reunited: Kamiyah reconciled with her biological parents Shanara Mobley, 36, and Craig Aiken, 42, in Jacksonville after Williams was arrested 

Reunited: Kamiyah reconciled with her biological parents Shanara Mobley, 36, and Craig Aiken, 42, in Jacksonville after Williams was arrested 

Shanara Mobley (left) was just 16 years old when she gave birth to Kamiyah Her father Craig Aiken was in jail at the time of the birth for sleeping with Mobley when he was 19 and she was 15

Shanara Mobley was just 16 years old (pictured left) when she gave birth to Kamiyah. Her father Craig Aiken was in jail at the time of the birth for sleeping with Mobley when he was 19 and she was 15

'I'm proud that she turned out the way she did and that's why I can't criticize anybody. She was given every chance to make it in life and that's what I hope for all my kids.'

Growing up as Alexis Manigo, Kamiyah insists she had no reason to doubt that Williams was her mom or question her identity.

She was the 'princess' of the family and loved to fool around with her 'brothers' Antoine and Andre.

Williams worked at the medical records department at Joint Base Charleston and took her family to the local Methodist church on Sundays.

'As a mom, she was very smart, very loving, and generous. She was always giving everything she had to me and my friends,' Kamiyah said.

'She wasn't a parent who could say no. I was very spoiled. I know she loved me.

'She taught me the difference between right and wrong. We went to church. She may have had a few speeding tickets, but she was never in any trouble. She is a good person.'

Kamiyah grew up believing her father was a car dealership worker called Charles Manigo who had split with her mom before she was born.

She considered stepdad Wrenoskie Williams, a 55-year-old truck driver whom Williams married when Kamiyah was in middle school, more of a father figure.

According to charging documents, the deception began to unravel when Kamiyah applied for a restaurant job two years before Williams was arrested.

Gloria Williams booking photo Williams (pictured) kidnapped Kamiyah from University Medical Center in Jacksonville  while dressed in blue scrubs and surgical gloves on on July 10, 1998

Gloria Williams (pictured) kidnapped Kamiyah from University Medical Center in Jacksonville while dressed in blue scrubs and surgical gloves on on July 10, 1998

When she demanded her social security number Williams broke down and confessed to the abduction, according to investigators.

Kamiyah confirms that the conversation took place but won't reveal the precise content for fear of further incriminating her 'mother' ahead of next month's trial.

Moreover, she says she quietly pieced together the majority of her backstory by herself from Google.

'In those two years I actually did try to contact my [biological] mother. I kept typing in her name, typing in about my abduction,' Kamiyah recalled.

'Her name linked me to a Jacksonville address book. I called the phone number but ended up hanging up in her face.

'It wasn't really an accident, I got nervous. Hearing her voice was weird but I just blocked it out.'

It wouldn't be until January 2017 when the estranged mom and daughter would finally speak, when Mobley and Aiken, who had separated after the abduction, raced to Walterboro to meet her in the wake of Williams' arrest.

The trio posed for a heart-melting selfie, tears streaming down Mobley's face as she finally laid eyes on the missing daughter whose birthday she had marked each year by leaving out a slice of cake.

On Kamiyah's 16th birthday Mobley wrote on Facebook: 'Happy Sweet 16th Birthday Kamiyah. Wherever you are you are truly missed & very much loved.'

Growing up as Alexis Manigo, Kamiyah insists she had no reason to doubt that Williams was her mom or question her identity

Growing up as Alexis Manigo, Kamiyah insists she had no reason to doubt that Williams was her mom or question her identity

She says her 'mother' spoiled her and, despite the whole ordeal, is a 'good person' 

She says her 'mother' spoiled her and, despite the whole ordeal, is a 'good person' 

Williams had miscarried a child a week before the abduction but had kept it a secret from her parents and two sons Antoine and Andre, then aged 10 and 11. Baby Kamiyah is pictured above in her abductor's arms 

Williams had miscarried a child a week before the abduction but had kept it a secret from her parents and two sons Antoine and Andre, then aged 10 and 11. Baby Kamiyah is pictured above in her abductor's arms 

Recounting the emotionally-charged meeting, Kamiyah told DailyMailTV: 'We met at the hotel I was staying at. I couldn't go home because the news people were at my house.

'The first time we hugged was very exciting. She was shaking with joy, it was very nice, very heartwarming. I remember her saying "oh my God" all day long.

'Mom [Mobley] told me all these things about my dad so I was really excited way before I saw him.

'When I met him I realized he looks like me. We talk alike, we are very jokey, and laid back. I love having a dad who's there. A dad I can call and talk to for hours.'

According to court documents, investigators finally cracked the case based on two tip offs: one from somebody who said Williams had confessed to them, the other from an individual who claimed to have heard it from Kamiyah.

'They had called my phone and wanted me to come to the courthouse. I didn't pay attention to it. I ignored the phone calls,' the teenager said.

'Eventually I notified my mom [Williams] and we went up there together. They had a subpoena for my DNA and they swabbed my cheeks. Three days later they arrested her.'

Above is the composite created by police at the time Mobley was kidnapped by a woman (Williams) pretending to be a nurse (right)

Above is the composite created by police at the time Mobley was kidnapped by a woman (Williams) pretending to be a nurse (right)

As thrilled as she was to meet her biological parents, there was never any likelihood that Alexis Manigo would slip effortlessly into Kamiyah Moberly's shoes and leave her kidnapper languishing unloved and alone in a jail cell.

When Williams made her first court appearance on charges of first-degree kidnapping and third-degree custodial interference, Kamiyah was there, tearfully calling out to her before reaching through the metal bars to touch her fingers.

'I know her and she's not a criminal,' she told DailyMailTV. 'It was emotional seeing her behind bars and not being able to touch her and hug her, knowing she's not coming home and I'm probably not going to see her for a very long time after that.

'To the world I was a victim but I'm too headstrong to personally call myself a victim. I do feel a crime was done but I don't feel comfortable calling myself a victim.'

Kamiyah has not been able to visit Williams in jail because she still doesn't have an official ID. She has attended one court appearance but was warned not to cry out or make any gestures.

They regularly speak on the phone, including a call on Christmas Day.

'Me and her we talk every two or three days, for fifteen minutes and 36 seconds exactly. We talk about everything and everything. We have our moments but it's not always sad,' Kamiyah revealed.

'If she does end up going to prison for a long time I will never abandon her. We will always keep in touch.'

Kamiyah now splits her time between Aiken's household and the house where she was raised, with friends and loved ones in Walterboro, South Carolina still referring to her as Alexis.

After a year of wading through bureaucratic red tape, she has finally been able get a genuine social security number in the past week. The number Williams had provided to her school belonged to a dead man.

But just as a promising future beckons along with the chance to get a job and attend college, next month's court case looms large, with jury selection set for February 12.

Aiken says he's been assured that his daughter won't have to stand up and testify. Kamiyah just wishes it would go away.

'I really didn't want it to go to trial. I always felt like everything didn't need to be said,' she added. 'Maybe we could have just skipped that part. I do want to be there but I don't want to be forced to choose sides.

'I'm glad everything is out in the open. I've gotten to et a second family. I've been able to bond with my parents.

'Legally I'm Kamiyah. But there's still people in South Carolina who call me Alexis. I answer to anything. I'm not really particular or picky, I'm not really offended by the name thing. They are the same person.'

Aiken says he'll be there to support Kamiyah every step of the way.

Their relationship may be in its infancy but it's clear they are already inseparable. They both hope that, in time, her relationship with Mobley will be similarly close.

'We both believe in destiny. We were both going to meet each other one day. I think destiny figured out that we were ready now to meet each other,' said Aiken.

'It was meant for us to be together. That's why we bonded so good. It's like she never left. It's like she was gone for South Carolina for the weekend and came back to my house.'