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This Feb. 9, 2017 file photo shows Gloria Bolden Williams, then 51, at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla. Williams is charged with the July 10, 1998 kidnapping of a baby known as Kamiyah Mobley from the then-University Medical Center. Williams raised the child as Alexis Manigo in South Carolina. A year later Mobley remains in South Carolina rebuilding her life and keeping in touch with her Florida family often. (Photo: Bruce Lipsky/The Florida Times-Union via AP, File)

A little over a year ago, then-18-year-old Alexis Manigo’s life changed when it was publicly revealed that she was the missing infant known as Baby Kamiyah, and that the woman who had raised her from infancy, Gloria Williams of Walterboro, South Carolina, had stolen her from a Jacksonville, Florida hospital when she was just hours old.

Now, Williams, 52, has pleaded guilty to the 1998 kidnapping, in a plea agreement that limits her potential sentence to 22 years in prison, according to The Florida Times-Union. With this plea agreement, Williams avoids a potential life sentence for the kidnapping and interference with custody charges.

Williams entered the Jacksonville hospital in July 1998 where Manigo, named Kamiyah Mobley by her birth mother, had been born hours earlier, telling staff that she was a relative of Mobley and then entering Mobley’s room where she posed as a nurse, Forensic Magazine previously reported. She told Mobley’s mother that the infant had a fever and had to be examined, left the room with the baby and disappeared without a trace.

Surveillance footage from the hospital was too grainy to identify the child’s abductor, and although no photos of the newborn were available, authorities released a composite image of Mobley and sketch of her kidnapper to the public. However, it wasn’t until January 2017 that tips to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led police to arrest Williams, when DNA tests confirmed that the young woman she was raising as her own daughter was the missing baby.

This composite image made available by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in Jacksonville, Fla., shows a photo of Kamiyah Mobley, an infant baby girl who was kidnapped by a woman, seen in separate sketches first provided by police in 1998 during the initial search. On Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, Gloria Williams, of Walterboro, S.C., was charged with kidnapping the infant 18 years ago from a hospital in Florida, and interference with custody. (Image: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office via Associated Press)

Manigo had not known her true origin until her teenage years, when she was not able to get a job due to having no Social Security card or other form of ID, according to The Florida Times-Union. It was then that Williams revealed the truth to Manigo, and the two kept it a secret until the NCMEC and police caught up with the kidnapper.

Manigo, now 19, has publicly stated that she recognizes what Williams did was wrong, but she maintains a relationship with the woman she knew as her mother and expressed that she did not want Williams to receive a harsh sentence, reports the Times-Union. In January 2017 she was reunited with her birth mother Shanara Mobley and birth father Craig Aiken; Aiken told the Times-Union he and Manigo have a close relationship but that her relationship with her birth mother is “more tenuous,” the paper says.  

Neither Manigo nor either of her birth parents were present in court during Williams' plea, the Times-Union reports. Williams is scheduled to be sentenced in a two-day hearing May 3 and 4 of this year.

In 2000, Shanara Mobley settled a $1.5 million lawsuit with the hospital where the infant was abducted.

Between 1983 and 2017, 140 infants were abducted from health care facilities, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children—of those, only 5 remained missing as of December 2017. Infants 6 months or younger were more likely to be kidnapped from a healthcare facility than anywhere else, according to the NCMEC data, and in about 73 percent of these abductions, the perpetrator disguised themselves as hospital staff.

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