Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Woman faces baby kidnap charges

Ann Pettway raised a child kidnapped from a New York hospital two decades ago
Carlina White was 19 days old when she was kidnapped in 1987

A woman who raised a child kidnapped 23 years ago from a New York hospital was in custody after surrendering on a probation violation charge.

Ann Pettway, Raleigh, North Carolina, gave herself up days after a widely-publicised reunion between the biological mother and the daughter taken from her as a baby. She is expected to appear in a New York court today on kidnapping charges.

She surrendered on Sunday morning to the FBI and Bridgeport police on a warrant from North Carolina, where she is on probation because of a conviction for attempted embezzlement, FBI supervisory special agent William Reiner said.

Pettway received two years of probation last June after she took items from a store where she worked, which is considered a fraud offence under North Carolina law, state correction spokeswoman Pamela Walker said. Under terms of her probation, she was not allowed to leave the state.

Department of Correction officials there tried repeatedly to contact her after finding out investigators wanted to question her over the 1987 abduction of Carlina White.

North Carolina officials said on Friday they believed Pettway was on the run from authorities and would seek her extradition.

Carlina was just 19 days old when her parents took her to Harlem Hospital in the middle of the night with a high fever.

Joy White and Carl Tyson said a woman who looked like a nurse had comforted them. The couple left the hospital to rest, but their baby was missing when they went back. No suspects were identified.

Carlina is now 23 and has been living under the name Nejdra Nance in Connecticut and in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. She said she had long suspected Pettway was not her biological mother because she could never provide her with a birth certificate and she did not look like anyone else in Pettway's family.

After contacting the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, she made contact with Joy White. Ms White and Ms Nance met in New York before DNA tests were complete, confident they were mother and daughter. After the test results confirmed it on Wednesday, Ms Nance returned from Atlanta to be with her real mother.

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