Kidnapper who stole newborn says sorry
A WOMAN who kidnapped a newborn baby 20 years ago and raised the girl as her own has apologised to her and her biological parents during an emotional sentencing.
Gloria Williams, 52, broke down as she described in chilling detail how she kidnapped Kamiyah Mobley from a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, just eight hours after she was born in 1998.
Williams told the court she wore hospital scrubs and posed as a nurse to get new mother Shanara Mobley to hand over her daughter.
Williams took the baby girl, placed her in a duffel bag and vanished. She took the child to South Carolina, where she raised her as Alexis Manigo, CBS reports.
"What I remember is I was running, I was walking and at any time someone could grab my arm and say 'What do you have in the bag?'" Williams told the court.
She also admitted that she thought about taking the baby girl back, but didn't.
The ruse began falling apart two years ago when the girl tried to get a driver's license but didn't have a valid birth certificate.
Williams apologised to Kamiyah, now 20, who was sitting in the courtroom.
"I never meant to hurt you. I never meant to cause you any harm, any pain, any of that. I'm sorry," Williams said. "I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I tried to love you the best way I could."
Williams was arrested in 2017 and pleaded guilty to kidnapping in March.
She told the court she had not planned to abduct a child the say she went to the hositapl but that she had been feeling depressed after suffering a miscarriage.
Wulliams was also in an abusive relationship at the time, she said, and had lost custody of two other hcildren,
"I felt like I was on autopilot. My life was out of control, I lost everything,' she said.
in court, Williams apologised to Shanara Mobley, the birth mother, who a day earlier testified that Williams should receive a death sentence. She told the girl she abducted that she still loved her.
"I will always love you, always," Williams said to Kamiyah, who was also in the courtroom gallery. "But you're not mine. Your mother and father are sitting right here."
Williams admitted entering the room of Shanara Mobley, who she didn't know, and taking the baby. She said she thought the child would bring peace to her home and that "the abuse would stop, the violence would stop, but it didn't."
She said she later ended her relationship with Charles Manigo.
Williams described Kamiyah as a "joy" and a "doll baby" but said she fought with herself for years about returning the child, saying she knew she would eventually "get caught." She described how she explained to Kamiyah as a teenager that she had been abducted as a newborn.
"I told her you are not my daughter," Williams said. "I said, 'I took you a long time ago.'"
Shanara Mobley broke down on the stand as she addressed her daughter, who was sitting in the courtroom gallery, CBS reports.
"It doesn't heal. I'm still hurting. I am your mother, Kamiyah. I am your mother!" she said.
Mobley testified she believes Williams should be sentenced to death, but because it's not on the table she urged Judge Mariane Aho to hand her to the maximum prison term of 22 years.