Kamiyah Mobley, who was abducted as a newborn from a Florida hospital in July 1998, has been found alive in South Carolina, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Friday.
DNA tests confirmed an 18-year-old woman was the baby taken by a woman posing as a health care worker, Williams said.
Mobley was found this week in Walterboro, South Carolina, where authorities arrested Gloria Williams, 51, in connection with the abduction. The woman was charged Friday with kidnapping and interference with custody, authorities said.
For 18 years, Mobley believed that Williams was her mother, the sheriff said. Mobley goes by another name than her given one.
“She had an inclination beginning a couple of months ago that she may have been involved in this in some way,” the sheriff said.
“She’s taking it as well as you can imagine. She has a lot to process. She has a lot to think about.”
Mobley was located after a series of tips last year to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the sheriff. The FBI assisted in the investigation.
Mobley’s biological parents and grandmother were “extremely excited and overwhelmed with emotion” at the news, the sheriff said.
Mobley seems to be in good health, he 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 sheriff said.
On July 10, 1998, a kidnapper dressed as a nurse and, wearing scrubs and surgical gloves, was captured in grainy surveillance video at the hospital, CNN affiliate WJXT-TV in Jacksonville reported.
The mother was awarded $1.5 million after settling a lawsuit against the former University Medical Center, the station reported. She has since had three more children.