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Woman Kidnapped Over 23 Years Ago Is Reunited with Birth Parents


Filed under: News

More than two decades ago, an infant was snatched from her crib in a New York City Harlem hospital. Her kidnapper was never found … until now.

In August 1987, Carlina White (pictured above and as a baby below) was only 19 days old, burning up with a 103 degree temperature, when she was abducted from Harlem Hospital in New York City.

The child’s teen mom, Joy White (pictured above), brought the infant to the hospital and left her in the pediatric ward so she could be seen by a physician. A mysterious looking woman, who police later discovered had been lingering around the hospital many times before, dressed in a nurse’s uniform consoled the distraught 16-year-old mother.

New York City Police Department (NYPD) chief spokesperson Paul J. Browne told reporters:

“We had a description, back then, of a woman who picked up the baby who acted as if she belonged there, or worked there. Obviously, it has been an open investigation; some leads did not work out, and obviously had not resulted in her being found.”

White, who would later claim was mistreated by her abductor, was raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and given the alias of Nejdra Nance.

White told police that the woman whom she believed to be her mother was a scam artist who used phoney social security numbers and IDs. White also went on to state that the abductor was also a drug user who oftentimes abused her physically.

As White grew up, she had a nagging feeling that she did not belong and felt like a stranger among her “relatives.”

There was no birth certificate to verify her birth, and the fact that she resembled no one in her “family” kept bringing up unsettling doubts about her familial ties. At age 16, White made the decision to delve further in to her background.

White stumbled upon the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website, and it was there that she found a photo of an infant that she felt resembled her. Telephone numbers accompanied the photo, and White decided to make the bold move and call her birth mother Joy.

The phone call from White prompted Joy to call the police to investigate further.

The phone call to the NYPD was eventually routed to Detective Martin A. Brown,who concluded that White’s story was very dramatic and unusual. Instead of passing the call to yet another area of law enforcement, Brown decided to assist in verifying all suspicions by overseeing the DNA match ups. Even though White’s parents separated and even went on to raise new families with other spouses, the pair’s DNA was checked against White’s:

“The daughter’s natural instincts were confirmed with DNA swabs,” Browne told the New York Times.

White and her parents, Joy and Carl Tyson,felt so positive that the DNAs would match, that they did not even wait for the results before they reunited and celebrated last Friday:

“I already knew in my heart that this was my daughter,” Tyson said. “All I could do is shed tears.”

As far as the abductor is concerned, there is no statute of limitation, so she could still face federal prosecution. Reportedly, a Bridgeport woman named Mary Pettway admitted that her daughter, Cassandra, who lives in Georgia, had raised White but provided no further information.

Joy always had a feeling that her daughter was alive; the Mom even used the name Carlina in her e-mail address.

Meanwhile, White wrote on her Twitter account that she planned to move to New York City and was looking forward “to Sunday dinner” with her newfound family.

Watch Carlina White’s story here:

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