January 18, 2017 10:26 AM EST

An 18-year-old who was snatched from a Florida hospital hours after she was born spoke lovingly of the woman who is accused of abducting her in an interview that aired Wednesday.

Alexis Manigo, whose birth name is Kamiyah Mobley, told ABC’s Good Morning America that Gloria Williams, the woman who raised her as her own, gave her the “best life” and will always be her mother.

“I still think of her as mom. She will always be mom,” the teenager said. “That’s all I want people to know. She was a great mother. I will never have malice for her. I will always love her.”

Manigo was reunited with her biological parents over the weekend after a police investigation and subsequent DNA testing confirmed she was their child. She had been living in South Carolina with Williams, 51, who is now facing kidnapping charges.

Manigo pleaded for leniency for Williams. “I understand what she did was wrong, but just don’t lock her up and throw away the key,” she said. “She loved me for 18 years, she cared about me for 18 years. I just want people to realize that.”

“She made one mistake, but I was loved,” Manigo added. “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.”

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