(WALTERBORO, S.C.) — She still calls the woman who kidnapped her at birth “mom,” and Kamiyah Mobley says she’s looking forward to the day when she walks out of prison.
In her first interview since Gloria Williams, 52, was sentenced on Friday to 18 years in prison, 19-year-old Mobley told ABC News’ Good Morning America that she still “loves” Williams, visits her in prison and speaks to her on the phone several times a week.
In fact, she lives in Williams’ Walterboro, South Carolina, home and is still getting acquainted with the biological mother and father, who spent years searching for her after Williams snatched her from a Jacksonville, Florida, hospital maternity ward in 1998 when she was just a few hours old.
“We actually talked today,” she said of Williams. “I still do call her ‘Mom.'”
She said Williams still treats her like a daughter.
“Oh yeah, she calls and still gets on me. Yes, she does,” Mobley told GMA, while seated next to her lawyer, Justin Bamberg.
She said she realizes there are people who will never understand why she still has affection for the woman who abducted her. But to those who don’t understand, she simply says, “They’ll be fine.”
She said she’s paid many visits to her biological family in Florida, getting to know her real parents, Shanara Mobley and Craig Aiken, and the siblings she didn’t know she had until Williams was arrested for her kidnapping in 2017.
“I’ve gone to Florida several times … and I call them. We talk almost every day,” Mobley said.
“I like it. It’s new people who act just like you, they look just like you,” she said. “It’s almost just like extended family. You know, that’s really what it feels like.”
She conceded, however, that it’s a balancing act to appease both her families. But since the court proceedings have ended, things have gotten easier.
“It just looked like a dysfunctional family reunion. So I’m glad that we’re done with it cause it’s like this side is over here, this side is over here. This side hates this side. This side doesn’t want to talk to this side. It’s just too much.”
She said that the times she did go to Williams’ court hearings, she usually sat in the back of the courtroom near the center aisle.
“I actually got closure now,” she said. “Everything is done. No more court. No more back and forth.”
In February, Williams pleaded guilty to walking into University Medical Center in Jacksonville on July 10, 1998, and kidnapping the infant. She posed as a nurse and took the baby from Shanara Mobley, then just 16 years old, telling her the child had a fever and needed to be examined.
Williams, who suffered a miscarriage about a month before abducting the baby, immediately drove the infant to South Carolina, where she raised her as her own.
“I know I wronged you and I’m so sorry,” Williams told Kamiyah’s birth parents during a court hearing last month. “So many days … I wanted to pick that child up and say, ‘Let’s get in this car and go’ — I just couldn’t.”
Kamiyah Mobley said Williams was a good mother.
“She was very open to all my friends I brought through that door,” she said of Williams. “She was one of those mothers, she was like open to sleepovers, open to company. Always smiling, always upbeat, up-tempo about everything. Very hard working, very hard working. She was actually getting her master’s [degree] before she was incarcerated.”
Kamiyah said she wasn’t surprised that Williams was sentenced to 18 years on Friday during a hearing Williams asked her not to attend.
“I kind of figured that,” she said of the sentence Williams received. “It was actually good … because at least I didn’t expect like eight and she got 18. I figured that was gonna happen. But I mean, she’ll still be alive. They didn’t give her like 30 or 45. She’ll come out walking and talking. It’s fine.”
Kamiyah, who graduated from high school in 2016, has been busy working and doing a lot of paperwork, getting her social security number, birth certificate and trying to study to get her driver’s license.
Bamberg, her attorney, said he’s witnessed Kamiyah cope admirably with a very complicated set circumstances.
“It is what it is now, there are no more unknowns,” Bamberg said. “I’m proud of her.”
Kamiyah said she plans on going to college someday and hopes “that I can find a better way to balance everybody and everything.”
“Who wants to sit around and be sad all day?” she said. “I mean, it doesn’t help anything. It’s not going to change anything. I learned that a long time ago.”
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