Shanara Mobley and Craig Aiken reunite with abducted daughter Kamiyah Mobley 18 years after she was stolen from a Florida hospital on the day of her birth.
‘It finally happened.’ These must have been the running thoughts that enveloped biological parents, Shanara Mobley and Craig Aiken as they dizzily clutched the child that 18 years ago had been taken away from them and forever wondered if they would ever see again.
Tense and apprehensive and adamant to put any ‘negative feelings’ aside, Shanara and Craig made the three hour trek from Jacksonville to Walterboro, South Carolina to meet their long abducted daughter, Kamiyah Mobley.
It had been an 18 year wait. But there at last stood the daughter they never gave up on and throughout the many years wondered about.
Breaking into nervous smiles and laughter the trio posed for their first ever heart melting family photo, as the tears began to run down Shanara’s face.
Told the mother in a 2008 interview with the Florida-Times Union: ‘It’s stressful to wake up every day knowing that your child is out there and you have no way to reach her or talk to her,’
‘The main thing that beats you up the most is … you don’t know nothing.’
Added: ‘I wonder, ‘What does she like? What kind of food? What kind of colors? How smart is she? Does she have long pretty hair? Does she have my eyelashes?’
After spending nearly an hour with his daughter, Aiken, 41, said of seeing her for the very first time: ‘It was the best day of my life. It was a beautiful, beautiful day. We are so happy. I hope the world is rejoicing with us.’
The meeting took place behind closed doors at the Walterboro police station, where the woman who raised Kamiyah, 51-year-old Gloria Williams, is currently in custody awaiting extradition to Florida to face kidnapping charges.
If convicted the social worker could face life behind bars.
Aiken, whose wife Shannon was also present, said they chose not to discuss the alleged kidnapping, instead focusing on getting to know the daughter he and Shanara feared they would never see.
‘We laughed, we chatted, we didn’t allow any negative thoughts. We didn’t talk about the kidnapping,’ the father said via the dailymail.
’It’s going to be hard for her to turn this into a positive. She’s got very mixed emotions about the woman who raised her.
‘But we are going to be there for her, this is just the start of a wonderful future.’
Kamiyah Mobley has been reunited with her biological mother 18 years after she was abducted https://t.co/Q6bjuNmf8D
— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 14, 2017
It was earlier revealed Williams had suffered a miscarriage about a week before she drove the three hours from South Carolina to Florida and abducted baby Kamiyah 18 years ago, Walterboro Live reported.
It is believed she then passed off Kamiyah as her own daughter to family and friends, who said they never suspected a thing.
Jacksonville police said Kamiyah found out on Friday morning that the woman who raised her in Walterboro her whole life was not her real mother.
Within hours Manigo was able to reconnect over FaceTime with her biological parents, who both cried ‘tears of joy’ after a detective told them their baby had been found.
And while Kamiyah was keen and happy to meet the biological parents she never knew about, the teen held firm that the woman who had abducted her had been good to her and that despite what she did, she loved Gloria, the woman for all intents and purposes was the mother that Kamiyah had always imagined her to be.
Wrote the teen on Facebook after the news of DNA linking her to Shanara Mobley and Craig Aiken, ‘My mother is no felon.’
Adding, ‘My mother raised me with everything I needed and most of all everything I wanted’.
The reunion marks an ironic twist of fate, at the time of Shanara’s pregnancy, the woman was only 15 when the then 19 year old Craig impregnated her.
The father came clean and ended up spending five months behind bars, never getting meet to his baby daughter.
Shanara, who used to cut a piece of cake and put it in the freezer for each one of Kamiyah’s birthdays, received a $1.5million settlement in 2000 after suing the hospital.
As the years passed the mother said she woke up every day knowing her firstborn was still out there – but that there was no way to reach or talk to her.
Reflected Craig Aiken: ‘I always hoped and prayed this day would happen. I always felt she was alive. I always felt she would find us,’
‘Now we have the rest of our lives together.’
— Ken Amaro (@kangel6) January 13, 2017