*In a new interview with ABC News, Charles Manigo opens up about learning that the girl he raised and believed to be his own daughter for 18 years was really another man’s child.
18-year-old Kamiyah Mobley was abducted as a newborn from a Florida hospital and raised by her kidnapper in a South Carolina home. She was reunited with her biological parents over the weekend — but the man who she called “dad” for her whole life has been left devastated by the truth.
“I named her — a name I had for a year. Alexis Kelly,” Manigo said. “She was the love of my life.”
What Manigo didn’t know was that his former girlfriend, Gloria Williams, had allegedly snatched the girl from a maternity ward, and lied when she told him she’d given birth to the baby when he was away. The girl they called Alexis was really Kamiyah Mobley.
Mobley’s biological father, Craig Aiken, was overjoyed that she had finally been found, and said that he and her biological mother celebrated her birthday every year and imagine “how it would be if she were here” and “what we would do if she came back,” he said Friday, after officials announced that the girl was now returned to her birth parents.
“I love her,” Aiken said. “I’m glad to see her. I love her.”
According to ABCnews.com, Mobley grew up in Walterboro, South Carolina, believing that Williams was her biological mother. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Friday that she now appears to be a normal 18-year-old woman in good health.
51-year-old Gloria Williams is in jail now — charged with kidnapping for allegedly taking the newborn from a Jacksonville, Florida, hospital on July 10, 1998. She raised the girl with Manigo until they split in 2003. After that, they shared custody and celebrated milestones together, like her prom, Manigo said.
“The person she called dad for 18 years isn’t her dad,” he said.
Williams was charged at a bond hearing on Friday in South Carolina. Bail was denied and another bond hearing will be held once she is extradited to Jacksonville, Florida.
“One of the hardest things she said on Friday was, ‘Dad I love you,’ even though she knows what’s going on,” Manigo said.
“I talk to her every day,” he said. “The attention is overwhelming to her. She’s still processing everything. It’s a shock to me, it’s a bigger shock to her.”
In spite of this heartbreaking news, Manigo said he will always be there for her. However, PEOPLE notes that a Facebook post on a page that appears to be that of the abduction victim says Manigo “did nothing” as a father figure.
“YOU WERE NOTHING TO ME MY WHOLE LIFE,” the user writes. “I CAN COUNT ON MY FINGERS HOW MANY TIMES I’VE SPENT THE NIGHT AT YOUR HOUSE.”
Check out the news clip about the story below: