At the age of 18, Alexis Manigo found out she wasn’t who she thought she was. In fact, she wasn’t Alexis at all.
Manigo just learned that her real name is Kamiyah Mobley, and that the woman who raised her kidnapped her from a Jacksonville hospital when she was just an infant and raised her as her own in Walterboro, South Carolina. CNN reports that a DNA test revealed last week that Manigo was the newborn who police said was stolen from a University Medical Center in July 1998 by a woman named Gloria Williams posing as a nurse.
But the 18-year-old told ABC's Good Morning America that she still considers the woman now sitting in jail to be her mother. "She will always be mom," Manigo said. "I will always love her."
With the woman who raised her in jail, Manigo met her birth parents, Craig Aiken and Shanara Mobley, for the first time. “I feel like I do owe them that, to give them a chance, you know, get to know them," Manigo told GMA. "When you find out you've got another family, it gives you more love," she said.
Williams, now 51, is being held on charges of kidnapping and interfering with custody. She was extradited from South Carolina to Jacksonville and is awaiting trial with bail set at $500,000.
Despite the lies, Manigo has forgiven Williams, and says that seeing her mother in handcuffs “hurt,” adding that her kidnapper is a “gentle woman.”
"I understand that was she did was wrong, but just don't lock her up and throw away the key like everything she did was just awful," Manigo said. "She loved me for 18 years. She cared for me for 18 years."