Kidnapped for 18 Years DNA Helps

DNA testing has helped a woman be reunited with her parents – 18 years after she was abducted as a baby.

Kamiyah Mobley was taken from the hospital where she was born when she was just eight hours old. She was then brought up by her alleged kidnapper, Gloria Williams, and renamed Alexis Manigo.

Alexis had no idea of her true identity and believed that Williams was her mother. But now she has met her biological parents after a DNA test using a sample taken from Kamiyah shortly after birth proved she was really the kidnapped infant.

Her real parents Shanara Mobley and Craig Aiken came face-to-face with their missing child in an emotional meeting at a police station in Walterboro, South Carolina. Williams, aged 51, has been charged with kidnapping and interfering with custody and is currently on remand.

Kamiyah’s father Craig said: “It was the best day of my life. We are so happy. I hope the world is rejoicing with us.”

Kamiyah was taken from a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, on July 10 1998 by a woman dressed as a nurse who had told Shanara that her baby needed to be checked for a fever. The woman then left the hospital with the infant and despite a huge search and more than 2,500 tips to the authorities, the pair were not found.

However, as Alexis grew up in South Carolina, she began to suspect that she might not be biologically related to her parents and started to question where she came from. Her suspicions led her to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who got in touch with the police in Jacksonville.

Mike Williams, Jacksonville’s sheriff, said: “It is as complicated an investigation as you can imagine.”

In the case of Kamiyah, DNA tests were used to prove someone’s identity by comparing a current sample with an historic one.

DNA testing can also be used to establish whether a person is biologically related to another individual. Paternity testing is commonly used where there are doubts over who a child’s father is but other forms of relationship DNA testing are available.

Maternity tests can be used to identify the mother of a child when the two have been separated at birth, often as a result of adoption. Some people also choose to use a maternity test if they have had a child using either surrogacy or IVF.

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