Woman sentenced to 18 years for kidnapping infant in 1998

Will Dickey  The Florida Times Union via AP

Gloria Williams, who almost two decades ago took a baby girl from a Florida hospital and raised the child as her own, was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison for kidnapping. Williams, 52, has admitted she posed as a nurse in a Jacksonville hospital to steal tiny Kamiyah Mobley in 1998, just hours after she was born. Williams pled guilty in a SC courtroom to the charge in February and had accepted a plea agreement.

The harrowing court case saw Mobley sob during her "mom's" court hearing, while her birth mother Shanara Mobley begged her to remember what had happened to her.

Kamiyah has met her biological parents, but says she still love loves Williams.

Williams fled with the infant to SC, where she lived with the baby under assumed names. At a hearing in May, she called out "Mama" after Williams confessed to the judge.

Detectives acting on a tip to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children interviewed a witness in 2016 who said the daughter claimed she was kidnapped from a Jacksonville hospital as a newborn, according to court documents. Williams was also sentenced to five years in prison on the lesser charge of interference with child custody. Peoples-Waters said she estimates Williams will serve 14 years minus her time served. After the loss of her pregnancy, she drove to Jacksonville from SC.

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In court, Williams said the kidnapping occurred at a time when her life was spiraling from depression and the torment of an abusive relationship, WJXT reported. Shanara Mobley thought the woman was a hospital caregiver. "She is taking it as well as you can imagine".

Florida Circuit Judge Marianne Aho said there were "no winners and no losers" in this case before imposing the 18-year sentence. For the longest time, she kept the secret to herself. She will not be allowed to write a book or make a movie deal.

Kidnapping in the first degree in Florida is punishable with up to life in prison.

After receiving tips that Kamiyah was alive and living in SC, detectives with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office traveled to SC and with police there, arrested Gloria Williams at her home in Walterboro, where she lived with her children. Aho also ordered that Williams was not to profit in any way from the crime.

A statement from Kamiyah Mobley's attorney Justin Bamber read, "The sentencing of Gloria Williams closes a painful chapter for all involved". At that time, she chose not to sit with her birth parents nor the many people from SC whom she still continues to view as family.

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