Sunday 22 January 2017

Woman snatched at birth solves own kidnapping

Alex Spillius in Washington

Published 21/01/2011 | 05:00

A WOMAN who was snatched from a New York hospital as a baby has been reunited with her parents after growing suspicious about the woman raising her.

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Carlina White (23) was 19 days old when she was kidnapped from Harlem Hospital on August 4, 1987, by a woman posing as a nurse.

Now getting used to her new life, she said: "I'm so happy, but at the same time it's a funny feeling because everything's brand new. It's like being born again."

A suspected drug user with the surname of Pettway, who raised her mostly in Bridgeport, Connecticut, two hours from New York, is the subject of an FBI kidnapping investigation.

Ms White, who was raised as Nedra Nance, has told relatives that she was regularly hit as a child. As a teenager, she grew suspicious of her "mother" when she refused to hand over a birth certificate when she wanted to get a driving licence.

When confronted, Pettway admitted she was not Ms White's biological mother but told her conflicting stories, including that her mother was a drug addict who had given her away or who had died of Aids.

"I would always be searching for stuff I had in common, but I had nothing in common with her," Ms White said, adding that she came to realise that she bore no physical resemblance to the woman who raised her.

After moving to Atlanta with her six-year-old daughter in December, Ms White rang the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, saying: "I feel like I don't know who I am."

Investigators showed Ms White photographs of herself before her abduction that matched images of her as a baby taken by her "family".

Photographs

Her mother, Joy White, was contacted on January 5 and given the news that justified the faith she had shown for 23 years that her baby was still alive. After seeing photographs of her grown daughter, she said: "I knew right away it was her. I was at work. I screamed and cried and ran downstairs."

A DNA test soon confirmed that she was her daughter.

Carl Tyson, Ms White's father, who separated from her mother years ago, had coincidentally contacted the missing children's centre to provide his new address. He was part of a large family reunion at New York's LaGuardia airport. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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