Carlina White Eventually Figured Out The Truth And Returned To Her Mother

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Ann Pettway, charged with kidnapping a newborn baby from a Manhattan hospital more than 20 years ago, is expected to plead guilty when she appears in federal court Friday, CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey reports.

On a summer day in 1987, the lives of two Bronx parents were shattered. Joy White, just at the time, told CBS 2 then that her baby, Carlina, was kidnapped from Harlem Hospital by a woman posing as a nurse.

“Just give me my baby back. Please, I just want her back,” she said soon after the kidnapping. “She was trying to get rid of me so she could take my baby away from me, but I didn’t realize it.”

As the parents and police searched, the little girl was raised 50 miles away in Bridgeport, Conn., by Pettway, who gave the infant a new name. But Carlina had suspicions of her mom as they didn’t look anything alike, and Pettway couldn’t produce any of Carlina’s birth records when she became pregnant as a teen.

Carlina’s fears were confirmed when she found her own baby picture next to a computer generated image from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The Center tracked down her real mother, and Carlina, having solved her own cold case, found her way home.

“I could tell it was Carlina before even they did the DNA. I said ‘that’s Carlina because she has her father’s eyes,'” said Elizabeth White, Carlina’s grandmother.

While there was joy, there was also sadness over the lost years that can never be replaced.

“She was broken. She was broken for so long,” said Carl Tyson, Carlina’s father.

Last January, Pettway turned herself in to the FBI and was charged with felony kidnapping. The missing child’s parents saw her in court.

“Why? I just want to know why? That’s all I want to know,” Tyson said.

Prosecutors said Pettway admitted to the kidnapping after suffering several miscarriages, and was desperate to be a mother. Pettway said she was sorry and acknowledged she caused a lot of pain.

Pettway faces up to 20 years in prison, but White’s family said she should serve 23 years, the same amount of time their girl was missing.

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Comments (4)
  1. saturnsweet says:

    Unfortunately the family is only focusing on the time lost with their daughter. Pettway did take care of her and love her all those years which is all she wanted. It does not make it right but this is a time of forgiveness. Spending all those years in prison will not bring back those years and remember the taxpayers are paying for a person that could be more useful to society by doing community work to pay for her lack of conscience. At her age she is not likely to repeat the crime. I realize that the pain for the biological parents is still fresh, but have they asked the daughter what she wants. Does she have feelings for this woman that raised her. Adoptive parents go through the same agony when their son or daughter learn about their biological parents. It is OK to be angry with Pettway but the punishment does not fit the crime.

    1. RoyBoySays says:

      The real parents sufferred everyday for 23 years,wondering if their child was still alive,where she might be,if she was well………….if the punishment should fit the crime,lets look at the true victims here,and throw the book at ms Pettway

    2. What planet are you from says:

      You are totally one can short of a six pack. Moron, this woman kidnapped a child and kept her for decades. The parents, like any parent suffered every day. This woman was crazy and had no feelings whatsoever. She should be lockup up for life as far as I am concerned

    3. plutosweeter says:

      saturnsweet is on planet weirdo — Kidnapping does not fit the punishment? Let me come kidnap your kid and see how you feel about it. Let me kidnap your mommy in case you’re some lonely guy. See how you feel then. She should be lock away permanently. This is not a kidnap of your own kid in a divorce where I can understand. This is a complete stranger abduction. Its as bad any other crime like murder and rape.

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