Family Speaks Out After Kidnapped Daughter Returns

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) —  Carlina White, just weeks after she was born, was taken from her young parents in Harlem Hospital by a mysterious woman dressed in a nurse’s uniform. Almost 23 years later she and her parents, Joy White and Carl Tyson, have been reunited.

The NYPD Missing Person Squad worked the case for 23 years. They say they never quit hoping the three-week-old girl, stolen from her teenage mother, would someday be brought back home, but the chances were slim.

What broke the case was a young woman who knew something wasn’t right, reports CBS 2’s Don Dahler.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria with Det. Martin Brown

WCBS 880 Reporter Marla Diamond talks with police about the kidnapping cold case and the happy ending

In 1987, 19-day-old Carlina White was snatched from Harlem Hospital by a woman pretending to be a nurse. Her parents, Joy White and Carl Tyson, were inconsolable.

“Just give me my baby back! Please! I want her back now. Just want her back,” Joy said after the kidnapping.

More than two decades later, it turns out the person who gave White her daughter back was Carlina herself.

Even after the initial flurry of activity, the police searched for years – but as time went by, so did their chances of solving the case.

“You can never quit,” Lieutenant Christopher Zimmerman said. “As long as they’re still missing, you’ve still got to look for them.”

The family spoke with the New York Post after their joyous reunion.

“When I lost my daughter, oh my God, that was just like a big part of my heart just ripped apart,” Tyson said.

White told relatives she was taken to Connecticut and raised under the name Nejdra Nance in an abusive home by a woman identified by police sources as Mary Pettway.

When Carlina was sixteen, though, she began to wonder if the woman raising her was her real mother. The two bore little resemblance and the woman couldn’t give Carlina important documents.

“Around when she was 16 or 17, she wanted to work and she wanted to get a driver’s license – and there was no supporting paperwork, like a birth certificate or Social Security card, to help her with that,” Lt. Zimmerman said.

Eventually Carlina, who was now living in Atlanta, called the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They told her to look at the photos of missing kids on their Web site, and one picture in particular jumped out at her.

“She finds the photo of Carlina White, and at that point she takes out her own baby photo that she has possession of,” Lt. Zimmerman said. “She compares them – looks like the same person.”

The center put Carlina in touch with Joy White, and they compared photos. To be sure, though, Joy called the NYPD, where she reached Detective Martin Brown.

“A woman calls and she’s very excited on the phone, describes that she had just been contacted recently by someone living in Atlanta claiming that she was her long lost daughter from 23 years ago,” Det. Brown said.

The NYPD then took DNA samples of Joy, Carl, and the woman who suspected she was their daughter. To everyone’s joy, the samples came back positive.

“You can’t measure that – taking a family that hasn’t been together in 23 years and telling them, ‘yeah, by the way, you are related,’” Lt. Zimmerman said. “Everybody was happy.”

“It’s incredible,” Det. Brown said.

Carlina said seeing her real mother for the first time felt like a dream. When she looks at her, she says, she can see herself.

Carlina has a six-year-old daughter who met her real grandparents for the first time this past weekend.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Christopher Kelley says:

    God shmod. When will people stop living in the Dark Ages? God was created in man’s image; “he” is a function of our raging egos that p;lace our meaningless existence at the center of the Universe. And as time has gone on, one “supernatural” explanation after another has been supplanted by a SCIENTIFIC one. There is no “supernatural” world; there are just things we have figured out and things we haven’t. But it really is arrogance of the highest order to place ourselves at the center of some universal struggle between good and evil. In all of our time on Earth, no one has ever produced actual evidence of a “miracle,” or any supernatural event of any kind. Because there are none. Grow up already.

  2. curious says:

    i agree…why isnt mary pettyway in custody? what does is mean , she is on her way to straighten it out.. ive never heard of such!! why isnt she straightening this out while in custody…this is ridiculous!

  3. Winston says:

    Who can prove that they wasn’t stolen at birth? I give you a dollar if you can as a new born baby?

  4. Blythe Barne says:

    People should never forget that real health depends how well you take care of yourself and not what health insurance you carry but I agree health insurance is important for every one. Search “Wise Health Insurance” online for dollar a day insurance plans.

  5. john smith says:

    there are 2 things here that i don,t underrstand.

    1)mary pettway that abused her for 23 years why isn,t mary pettway behind bars now?plus.

    2)if carolina white felt that mary pettway wasn,t her real mother why didn,t she(carolina white)contact the police?

    something here does not sound right.

  6. The Good Samaritan says:

    The father has to pay back child support to the family that raise his child.

    The Good Samaritan has spoken.

  7. Joe says:

    jb,

    One has to go beyond himself in order to understand what’s happening in a spiritual world. Left to our own understanding is why our physical world is where it is, including the many religions and the problems within each one. King Solomon had tremendous wisdom (where did it come from?) but his heart becane captured by something other than God (I guess 700 wives and 300 concubines will do it). Anyway, once that happened, although his wisdom remained to a great degree, his understanding was no longer enlightened. He then penned Ecclesiastes (which is one fo my favorite books, btw). Without God in my life, THAT very book would probably drive me to suicide. Why? Because it shows the vanity of absolutely everything we naturally strive for. Solomon did everything that was pleasing to him. He himself said he kept back nothing that was desirable to him. All he could say was that it was vanity and vexation of spirit to him. One other thing he said, “He that has much wisdom has much grief and He that increases knowledge, increases sorrow.”

    Yep, I agree. Without God, what is the real purpose of life, other than to live and have someone else reap everything I’ve sown? No matter how you view it, we leave here with absolutely nothing. The Bible says we willfully ignore the evidence (proof) of God. Again, I agree. “From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. ” Romans 1:20

    I’ll leave you with one last scripture; the one that changed my life even though at the time, I didn’t know what really happened. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13. I can honestly say I didn’t give up seeking and only when I was willing to seek with everything within me, did I find the One I was looking for. That’s been over 30 years ago. God is WAY BEYOND religion. Truth sets free. Jesus is the embodiment of that truth. I’m not saying to accept it at face value, but if you do seek with ALL of your heart, you will find Him. That’s a God thing and He doesn’t lie.

    1. your mom says:

      your insane christian psycho bable made me vomit in my mouth a little

  8. FAITH says:

    Joe, thanks for shedding light on God’s goodness and using the Word of God to bring it home. Not that you had to, because GOD is GREAT anyhow.

    Isaiah 45:23-24
    23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

    Praise God for the young lady and her baby returning to her family. We can’t question God’s perfect will and His plan. It’s truly a blessing and hope for others that may have had a child abducted.

    Peace and blessings multiplied…..

    1. Joe says:

      FAITH,

      Thank you. Yes, God is very good…if people could only see it. Someone once mentioned that if it wasn’t for God, mankind wouldn’t live long enough to reproduce himself. I don’t disagree.

  9. bjbw says:

    can we just be happy for this woman that she is still alive, and found her family that loves her so very much??

    1. Buzz Aldrin says:

      …not that simple, bj, just not that simple.

  10. Shy says:

    Okay people you are live from the HUNTS POINT spection of the Bronx NOT NORWOOD. NORWOOD is on the complete other side of the Bronx. So annoying how you don’t bother to check for accuracy. With that said….

    It’s has to be confusing for that woman. Was she brought up in a loving home? Does she now hate the people who raised her? A lot of therapy wil be needed. Wishing her all the best.

    1. Billy Blutnar says:

      Read the article, Shy, it says she was brought up in an ABUSIVE HOME.

  11. jb says:

    This is just ONE small example. Those who belive in god also believe that all things happen for a reason and that god knows what is going to happen and when.

    If that is true…then WHY IN THE WORLD did god (if there is such a thing) allow Hitler to do what he did and why was 9-11 allowed to happen? If those planes were grounded for mechanical reasons and it was later discovered what the intended plot was EVERYONE would be stating it was a MIRACLE by god!!

    Then why does god not get the blame? Can’t have it both ways

    1. COMMON PROMISE says:

      Evolution, The Big Bang Theory, The Crusades,The Holocaust, the Dinosaurs, Einstein,Pyramids,Stonehenge,the Grand Canyon, Neil Armstrong on the moon, black cats, rosemary at your door, Stalin, Guantanamo Bay, Jesus,, Muhammad, Buddha,AIDS, CANCER, The Atomic bomb, Science, Math, Medicine…..I could go on FOR EVER with a list the Good, the God(s), the Evil,the bad,the remarkable, the once unthinkable, the accomplished, events,phenomena, or superstitions that mark this life as bigger than you or me. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction….”

    2. Joe says:

      Hey jb,

      The simple truth: God is Good and He is Holy! The Bible says that mankind has fallen and falls short of God’s glory, God’s holiness. There is a bridge between man’s carnality and God’s holiness. God, in love, chooses to reach out to man via Christ dying on the cross for our sins. Through Christ we can be reconciled to God. Now, what does this have to do with this discussion? Answer: Everything.

      Man was made and is still in the image of God….but it is a fallen image. He loves, he cares, he judges, he rationalizes etc. etc. However, because he is a fallen creature, his ability to discern is mired. He judges wrongly, loves selfishly, rationalizes incorrectly and so on. In a nutshell man’s wisdom and understanding is perverted. This is why one cannot see the goodness of God even though it is totally evident in this case. To see God the way He truly is, is a gift. Jeremiah 9:23,24 says, “Thus says the LORD:
      “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
      Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
      Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
      But let him who glories glory in this,
      That he understands and knows Me,
      That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
      For in these I delight,” says the LORD.

      God in his goodness, reached out to this family. It’s just that simple. From the beginning, He gave man a free will. Some choose to use if like Hitler, and others like Mother Theresa. That part is up to us. Otoh, since man has fallen short, God is under no obligation to restore him. It wasn’t God who made the choice to disobey. It was Eve and then Adam. Repentance is also a choice. If you really want to see God in this story, ASK HIM to reveal Himself and truly be willing to get off your own throne of understanding, and allow Him His rightful position as Lord.

      Here are three more verses to make you think: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
      And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes;
      Fear the LORD and depart from evil.”

      If you’re willing to do that, you’ll see Him in this story. Yes, He is good and Yes, He answered this humble grandmother’s prayer. Instead of making man a robot, He gave us a free will. Our free wills are messed up and that’s why our discernment is so lacking. A free will to choose evil, which was originally done here by the woman who stole the child, does not make God the evil one. His jumping into the situation, in spite of the evil, shows His goodness. This is what grace and mercy are all about. He makes a way when there seems to be no way. Faith works well with His grace and mercy. Don’t ask me why. He’s the boss!

      1. jb says:

        Joe:

        While I do not disrespect your freedom to believe the above is just versus from the bible which really have NO MEANING in REAL LIFE and just words.

        There are really too many things that happen to really believe there is a god. We as people have the right to judge what we think is RIGHT AND WRONG and to blindly put faith into something NOT TANGIBLE or able to prove, other than what is in a book, seems to be not the sensible way to go here.

        There are MANY different religons. Christians belive in Christ. Jewish Religon believes in only ONE god, Muslims belive something else, etc, etc. If in fact there is a god then all these religons cant be correct. ONE has to be right and the others wrong?

        AGAIN, there is NO ABSOLUTE proof that there is a god other than what we are told as we grow up and by our Temples, Churches, etc..

      2. Flynn says:

        God answered the family’s prayer? Two decades later? And during those 20-something years, the girl lived in a home filled with abuse and lies about her origins?

        Please don’t tell me that God works in mysterious ways so we just have to accept that there was a reason for all this. An evil, selfish person kidnapped a child. That person lied to the child as she grew up. That young girl endured who knows what for twenty years until she figured out the truth. God had nothing to do with this.

      3. Toni says:

        Joe
        I recognize GOD’S handiwork all over this story… Joe thanks for the insight and the delivery of your comments… Everyone will not be blessed with the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of GOD and his “Word” (JESUS)… , but brother I truly thank you for blessing me this day…

  12. COMMON PROMISE says:

    Those who are uneducated can declare that “God is awful for allowing this to happen in the first place, However, The un or ill-educated give rise and false truth and acknowledgment to GOD for the negative and not for the good. In ALL Cultures WORLD wide there is present a belief of some sort in a higher power. The ultimate truth is that were there is good like God there is ALSO EVIL=THE DEVIL and he(the cast out angle) works daily on our world. The good of man is not limited by God, but in turn, the evil of man is not limited by Satan. Truthfully and STATISTICALLY it is a Marcile that 23 years later an abducted child was found to be in good health and encompassed with enough faith and instinct to know she wasn’t were she belonged and then to be reunited with her Mother 23 years later… ABSOLUTE miracle. In being human we can not be so blind as to only see one side of anything it is never fair to blame God for peril or pain. Especially with the EVIL that surrounds us daily. COMMON SENSE…….HELLO…..thousands of years of history….at your fingertips. Educate yourselves.

    1. COMMON PROMISE says:

      Those who are uneducated can declare that “God is awful for allowing this to happen in the first place, However, The un or ill-educated give rise and false truth and acknowledgment to GOD for the negative and not for the good. In ALL Cultures WORLD wide there is present a belief of some sort in a higher power. The ultimate truth is that were there is good like God there is ALSO EVIL=THE DEVIL and he(the cast out angel) works daily on our world. The good of man is not limited by God, but in turn, the evil of man is not limited by Satan. Truthfully and STATISTICALLY it is a Marcile that 23 years later an abducted child was found to be in good health and encompassed with enough faith and instinct to know she wasn’t were she belonged and then to be reunited with her Mother 23 years later… ABSOLUTE miracle. In being human we can not be so blind as to only see one side of anything it is never fair to blame God for peril or pain. Especially with the EVIL that surrounds us daily. COMMON SENSE…….HELLO…..thousands of years of history….at your fingertips. Educate yourselves.

  13. jtorres says:

    God did not make that woman take that baby all those years ago. God is good but people are not always. God guided that girl back to her true family. That woman was obviously disturbed or just plain evil. Abducting, abusing and hurting a defenseless baby and/or child is the lowest of the low. She needs to be put behind bars

    1. JB says:

      JTORRES:

      If in fact god cannot be blamed for the taking of the baby, then why does god get the credit for her comming back to her mom?? And, if in fact, god did intervene why did it take him TWENTY THREE YEARS to do so??

      Can’t only give credit without any blame. DOES NOT MAKE LOGICAL SENSE!!

      1. Flynn says:

        Thank you JB! Another voice of reason.

    2. BKLYN says:

      well he sure as hell took his sweet ass time in guiding her while her & her mother were suffering…thats not a GOD

  14. JB says:

    It really is crazy all these people thanking god for this result. As someone who does not believe basically becuase too many good things happen to bad people and visa versa, it makes no logical sense.

    If there is a god…were was he when the baby was taken 23 YEARS AGO!!!

    Come on, let’s all have some COMMON SENSE here.

    1. BKLYN says:

      haha so so true JB…where the heck wa GOD 23 Years Ago???

  15. Delane says:

    God is good all the time..he may not be there when u need him but he’s always on time….wish her and her mother blessing…that person need to be punish for what they did…..she can’t hide for long

  16. rodney tyson says:

    i glade to see you agian , god is gooooooooood

  17. Patti Persley Clark says:

    Thank you Jesus !!!!!Praise

  18. danny says:

    Sure. Real great. She got taken from a poor family who would have loved her, and raised by a poor family who abused her. Thank you God… (sigh)

  19. Glenn says:

    Finally a heart warming story………I wish you all the best.

  20. dab says:

    God is Great! But now authorities need to go after the family that raised her. They knew that wasn’t their child.

  21. Princess Desmond says:

    God is Great all the time.

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