Eileen Kelley is an investigative reporter for the Florida Times-Union. She and Gary Mills produced the podcast, Have You Seen Kamiyah?, telling the story of the 5-hour-old baby taken from a Jacksonville hospital in 1998. Eileen tells us about the emotional journey she went through to retell this tragic story on it's 20th anniversary.
Shanara Mobley was 16 when she gave birth to her first child, Kamiyah, in a Jacksonville hospital in 1998. A woman wearing scrubs who had been lingering around the hospital since the night before came into Room 328 and told the teen mom she was a nurse and had been assigned to care for her and her baby. They spent the next five hours together. At 3 p.m., the woman said she had to take the baby to get checked for a fever. She never returned.Over the next 2½ years Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office investigators followed more than 2,000 leads from as far away as Nova Scotia, but none led to Baby Kamiyah.
In July 2017, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams announces the finding of Kamiyah Mobley alive and well in South Carolina living with her kidnapper, Gloria Williams. In June of this year, Gloria Williams was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the kidnapping of Kamiyah Mobley. Even with the kidnapper behind bars, it still wasn't a happy ending for Kamiyah and her birth mother Shanara.
Listen to the Have You Seen Kamiyah podcast from the Florida Times-Union wherever you listen to podcast or by visiting their website at jacksonville.com/kamiyah.
(Left) Missing infant poster from 1998. (Courtesy of Florida Times-Union) (Right) Gloria Williams, 51, of Walterboro, S.C., is shown in a police mugshot following her arrest on a charge of kidnapping Kamiyah Mobley, now 18 and named Alexis. The two were living as mother and daughter in South Carolina for years. (Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office)