JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Among evidence released this week in a high-profile infant abduction case are investigative reports detailing how police say Gloria Williams created a new identity for Kamiyah Mobley, the baby she's accused of stealing from a Jacksonville hospital nearly two decades ago.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Williams raised the girl as Alexis Manigo.
News4Jax has been following the case since hours-old infant Kamiyah was taken from what was then University Hospital. The two were found living in Walterboro, South Carolina, last January after tips were called in to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Among the information released this week were files that show detectives tried to get a copy of Manigo’s birth certificate from Colleton County High School, but weren’t able to verify the authenticity of it.
Investigators said they found an altered birth certificate in Williams' home with cutouts in a separate envelope, which is likely how she created the certificate on file with the school.
They said they also learned the Social Security number the school had on file for her belonged to Morris Grogan, who was born June 11, 1939, and died in May 1983.
Apparently Williams wanted a more “official” birth certificate for Manigo as she got older.
Among the photographs released by investigators are images of multiple letters from an attorney who was helping Williams apply for a birth certificate for Manigo in 2016. Other letters indicate that application was denied.
Digging into past
According to the court documents, Manigo first learned who she was when she was hired for a job at Shoney’s and the manager asked for a Social Security card and driver’s license. Gloria Williams told Manigo that she didn’t have them, and then explained why.
The evidence shows Manigo even carried a screen grab of the composite baby image that the Sheriff's Office circulated when Kamiyah Mobley was abducted in 1998.
Investigators said that Williams’ husband told them he remembered seeing Manigo on her phone searching about the 1998 incident and getting information on her biological parents.
According to a police report, Manigo at one point called her birth mother, Shanara Mobley, but hung up as soon as she answered.
Manigo said that in 2015 she received a text on her phone from Mobley's number that said: “Happy Birthday.” Manigo said she only replied, “Why do you think it’s my birthday?”
From there, they had no further contact before Manigo was positively identified as Kamiyah Mobley, police said.
Letters in prison
Williams has been getting letters from friends, family, co-workers, and even complete strangers since she has been in jail. Most of the letters contain encouraging words to her or from her to others.
Williams sent and received dozens of letters in her first few months in the Duval County Jail. In one, she said she was only responding to people she knew, not the strangers across the country who had written.
In one letter from March of last year, her husband said, “We going to be praying for 3½ years and less, but I just want to let you know that I am not going nowhere.”
In some of the letters, the accused kidnapper said she was overwhelmed by the people reaching out to her to offer kindness.
She said she had started taking part in a Bible study with some of the inmates and was trying to get others to join them.
Attorneys for Williams, who is charged with kidnapping and interference with child custody, fought the release of the evidence, which includes photographs, prison letters and police reports connected to the case.
“If any of those documents portrayed your client in a bad light, you want to do everything you can to prevent them from getting out there,” said attorney Gene Nichols, who is not connected with the case.
Attorney Diana Johnson argued that releasing the documents would make it tougher to seat an impartial jury, but the judge ruled that while some of the information might portray Williams negatively, it wasn’t enough to impact a fair trial.
Investigators said they found a handwritten list of Jacksonville attorneys and their phone numbers in Williams' home.
Nichols said that while that might look incriminating, that fact shouldn’t have an impact on jurors.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the defendant. And that would be a defense lawyer's biggest concern,” Nichols said. “Just because there is a list does not mean that somebody is guilty.”
Nichols said now that information is out, Johnson will have to adjust her defense plan because she will need to ensure potential jurors' opinions aren't tainted by the documents.
Williams is scheduled to be back in court on Thursday for her final pretrial hearing. Jury selection is scheduled to start Monday.
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