The South Carolina woman accused of kidnapping a newborn baby in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1998 returned to the River City for her first court hearing this morning.
The judge set no bond for Gloria Williams on the kidnapping charge and set bail at $503,000 on the interference with custody charge, citing the unique circumstances and the gravity of harm alleged by prosecutors. Williams is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 8.
Williams, 51, allegedly abducted Alexis Manigo on July 10, 1998, just hours after she was born at a Jacksonville hospital and raised the girl as her own in South Carolina. Williams allegedly posed as a nurse and told the baby’s mother that the newborn had a fever and she needed to take her away, according to Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams.
Earlier this month, authorities determined through DNA testing that Manigo, now 18, was not Williams’ biological daughter after the teen submitted a DNA sample. She now appears to be a normal woman in good health, the sheriff said.
Williams, who has not yet entered a plea, was arrested at her home in Walterboro, South Carolina, early Friday and charged in the nearly two-decade-old kidnapping case. The woman was extradited from South Carolina to Florida on Tuesday, according to the Jacksonville sheriff.
Manigo, who was given the name Kamiyah Mobley at birth, was joyfully reunited with her birth mother and father last week. But the teen said the reunion was bittersweet because the woman who raised her was taken away from her.
“I understand what she did was wrong, but just don’t lock her up and throw away the key,” Manigo told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” in an exclusive interview.
“She loved me for 18 years, she cared about me for 18 years,” Manigo said. “I just want people to realize that.”
Manigo identified herself during the interview as “Alexis Manigo,” but she said she is fine with people calling her by her birth name. She called Williams “a great mother” and said, “she will always be ‘Mom.'”
“She made one mistake, but I was loved,” Manigo said. “From that one mistake, I was given the best life.”
“I had everything I ever needed, wanted, I had love especially. There is no price you can put on the love that was given to me,” she added.