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This Feb. 9, 2017 file photo shows Gloria Bolden Williams, then 51, at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla. (Photo: Bruce Lipsky/The Florida Times-Union via AP, File)

Just a few years ago, a rite of passage for most American teenagers became an earth-shattering revelation for Alexis Manigo. When Manigo, now 19, attempted to get her driver’s license, the woman who had raised her since infancy, Gloria Williams, now 52, admitted to her that the teen did not have a valid birth certificate or Social Security card—because Williams had kidnapped her from a hospital shortly after she was born in July 1998.

The girl’s birth name was Kamiyah Mobley, and she had been born in Jacksonville, Florida to Shanara Mobley and Craig Aiken. Just hours into her life, she was taken by Williams, who dressed in scrubs and posed as medical staff in order to trick the infant’s mother into handing her over. She then placed the newborn in a bag and took her from the hospital, bringing her to South Carolina where she would raise her for the next 18 years, according to The Associated Press.

Today, Williams was sentenced to 18 years for the kidnapping, and handed an additional 5-year sentence for custody interference, to be served concurrently, the AP reports. She pleaded guilty to the crime in February of this year. By pleading guilty, Williams avoided the possibility of a life sentence. Under the plea agreement, Williams could have received a minimum of no prison time and a maximum of 22 years.

Williams testified that she had had a miscarriage and was in an abusive relationship about a month prior to the kidnapping, and did not have custody of her two other children, according to the AP.

“I felt like I was on autopilot. My life was out of control, I lost everything,” Williams said, saying that she had not planned the kidnapping when she drove from South Carolina to Jacksonville, according to the AP.

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. (Image: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office via The Associated Press)

Williams was arrested in January 2017, after an anonymous tip was made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who were assisted by the FBI in investigating the missing child’s whereabouts. Mobley, who had been renamed to “Alexis Manigo” by Williams, had told a friend about her true identity after Williams had revealed it to her, according to the AP.

Manigo was not present at the sentencing hearing or in court during Williams’ guilty plea in February, according to news reports. However, Manigo has maintained a relationship the woman she knew as her mother and has previously stated she did not want Williams to receive a harsh sentence, according to the The Florida Times-Union.

“There are no winners and no losers in this case,” Judge Marianne Aho said at the sentencing hearing. “The family in this case suffered not knowing what happened to their child for approximately 18 years.”

The young woman who was born as “Kamiyah Mobley” reconnected with her birth parents after Williams’ arrest and their relationship has developed since then, Aiken told the Times-Union.

In this undated photo made available by Bamberg Legal, Kamiyah Mobley, center, takes a selfie with her biological parents, Shanara Mobley and Craig Aiken. (Photo: Kamiyah Mobley/Bamberg Legal via AP)

The day that the infant Mobley was kidnapped, hospital staff had allowed Williams to enter the facility, believing her to be a relative of the child’s mother, CNN previously reported. Shanara Mobley was awarded $1.5 million in a lawsuit settlement with the hospital in 2000.

Between 1965 and March 2018, 140 infants were abducted from health care facilities, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children—of those, only five remained missing as of March. Infants six 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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