A teen who was kidnapped as a newborn and brought up by her abductor for 18 years has revealed her struggles in a new interview almost a year after her story made national news.
Alexis Mangio says she still can’t get a social security number, driver’s licence or ID thanks to a bureaucratic nightmare after the woman she thought was her mother was arrested.
The 19-year-old also told the Post and Courier how how she keeps in contact with her real mother, her father and stepmother – and her abductor who is now in jail.
Mangio still can’t visit Gloria Williams, the woman who abducted her and raised her into adulthood, in jail because she doesn’t have ID – but the pair still talk every few days by phone.
The 19-year-old, from Walterboro, South Carolina, was kidnapped by Williams from a Florida hospital as a newborn and was listed as a missing person since 1998.
Gloria Williams was arrested in January 2017, and was charged with kidnapping after a DNA test proved Manigo the biological daughter of Craig Aiken and Shanara Mobley, who had been searching for her for years.
Authorities had been tipped off after Williams confessed to Alexis, and the rumors spread though her community.
Since Williams’s arrest, Manigo has grown close with her biological parents, who have separated since her birth.
Manigo calls Aiken ‘daddy’, Mobley ‘mom, and Williams will always be ‘mama’. Aiken and Mobley call Manigo ‘Kamiyah, while Williams still calls her ‘Alexis’.
She visits her Aiken and her ‘superhero’ stepmom in Jacksonville, Florida, and stays longer than expected each time. She also visits Mobley and her family during trips to the Sunshine State.
Williams calls Manigo from the jail every few days, and they talk for the alloted 15 minutes and 34 seconds about every day things.
But Manigo can’t visit Williams at the Duval County jail, where she’s being held without bail because she has no ID to prove who she is.
Her attorney, Justin Bamberg, said that the process is ‘basically creating a new person from scratch’.
He told the Post and Courier that he has gotten a copy of Manigo’s birth certificate, which calls her Kamiyah Mobley.
Next, she needs a social security number before she can get an ID.
But Manigo can’t go into the federal building to do so without ID , so Bamberg had to make a special appointment.
At the special appointment earlier this month, however, Manigo was told she needed two verifying documents in order to apply.
Manigo has nothing other than her birth certificate that says Kamiyah Mobley – she’s been Alexis Manigo for 19 years.
Without a social security number, Manigo hasn’t been able to get a job or go to college – a dream of hers.
Aiken told her that the state of Florida has offered to help pay costs of college if she is able to attend.
Manigo is a celebrity in the state, where people know her as Kamiyah, as people everywhere were gripped by the kidnapping story for 18 years.
Williams pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and interference with custody last January, and Manigo made an emotional appeal to authorities not to put her in jail.
It was revealed in January that Williams had suffered a miscarriage the week before taking Alexis from her parents at the University Medical Center in Jacksonville.
Investigators say she posed as a nurse and befriended Alexis’s birth mother, Mobley, who was just 16 at the time.
She took the baby away from her teenage mother under the pretense that she had a fever and vanished without a trace, police say.
It sparked a nationwide manhunt and prompted hundreds of anonymous tips she was never found as a child.
According to court documents, the abducted teen girl knew the truth for more than a year but chose not to alert authorities.
Her mother reportedly told her she was kidnapped nearly two years before her arrest when she tried to get a job but was unable to take it because she didn’t have a social security number.
The pair didn’t speak to each other about the kidnapping again until about two years later, when Williams was arrested.
Police discovered that Manigo’s birth certificate and the social security card she used in high school were both fraudulent, as was her social security number taken from a Virginia man who died in 1983.
Just hours after police revealed that Kamiyah Mobley had been found, Manigo took to Facebook to defend her abductor.
‘My mother raised me with everything I needed and most of all everything I wanted,’ she wrote. ‘My mother is no felon.’
When Williams had her first court hearing in January, Manigo went to the Colleton County Detention Center with Williams’s parents, who she’s always been close with.
Behind a screen, Williams blew Manigo a kiss.
‘I love you, ma!’ Manigo said. Williams responded: ‘I love you too.’
Williams, who was employed as a social worker and attended church every Sunday, where she also led the youth program, could face up to life in prison if convicted.