Kamiyah Mobley was barely eight hours old when she was abducted from a Florida hospital.
Grainy surveillance video captured photos of a woman leaving the Jacksonville University Medical Centre hospital with the infant. Yet despite a huge police operation, they failed to discover the baby, or the person who stole her.
On Friday, in a remarkable development, officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said that Kamiyah Mobley had been found alive and well – more than 18 years after she was stolen.
Police said she had been found living in Walterboro, South Carolina, with a woman she believed, erroneously, was her real mother. Police said that woman, Gloria Williams, 51, had been arrested in connection with the abduction. Ms Mobley has been living with a name that was not the one given to her.
“She had an inclination beginning a couple of months ago that she may have been involved in this in some way,” said Sheriff Mike Williams.
“She’s taking it as well as you can imagine. She has a lot to process. She has a lot to think about.”
According to WJXT, Ms Mobley’s mother, Shanara, was just 16 at the time of her baby’s birth. According to reports at the time, she was befriended by a woman who passed herself off as a family member to the hospital and a medical professional to Shanara.
Mr Williams, the police officer, said that Ms Mobley’s biological parents and grandmother were “extremely excited and overwhelmed with emotion” at the news, the sheriff said.
“She appears to be a normal 18-year-old-woman,” the sheriff said.
Over the years, authorities received more than 2,500 tips in connection with the case. On Friday, investigators were calling retired detectives who worked on the case with word of the latest development.
“This is a case like we have not seen in this country in a long time,” the officer said.
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