Jacksonville detectives recognized for work on high-profile cases

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One brought closure to a family more than four decades after their loved one's murder. The other helped unravel the 18-year-old mystery of what happened to a newborn abducted from a Jacksonville hospital.

Both detectives were recognized by their peers for outstanding work Thursday when Sheriff Mike Williams named them 2018's police officers of the year at the agency's annual Meritorious Awards Ceremony.

Detectives Margaret Rhatigan and Glenn Warkentien helped solve the 1974 murder of Freddie Farah and the 1998 kidnapping of Kamiyah Mobley, respectively, bringing an end to decades of uncertainty.

"Whether it's a cold case or an active investigation, we don't always get closure," said Rhatigan. "It's good when we can, but it especially feels great when we can do it 43 years later."

Warkentien concurred. "It's good to get that final closure for them and urge them never to give up because, eventually, with a little help and a little luck, we will get closure," he said.

The mystery surrounding Mobley's disappearance led Warkentien to the quaint town of Walterboro, South Carolina. There, he learned Mobley, who goes by Alexis Manigo, had been raised by Gloria Williams, who pleaded guilty Monday to kidnapping charges.

He credited those around him with making the case, saying he could not have done it without the hard work others had put in before him. "I was just a small, tiny part of that for the resolution," he said.

Rhatigan, meanwhile, had the assistance of new technology that was not previously available to those who worked to find Farah's killer. Her investigation took her to New Orleans, where the suspect Johnnie Miller worked for years as a street performer.

"It's great that you can open up a case, see what was done many years ago, and the potential is there for what we can try to achieve from it," she said.