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FBI Searching for Woman Suspected of Stealing Baby From Harlem Hospital 23 Years Ago

By Della Hasselle | January 21, 2011 11:42am

By Della Hasselle

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — The FBI and the NYPD are searching for the woman who allegedly stole baby Carlina White from Harlem Hospital 23 years ago, the New York Post reported.

Ann Pettway, 55, has a rap sheet that includes arrests for embezzlement, forgery and theft and has amassed a litany of aliases, birth dates and social security numbers, the Post reported.

White, 23, was kidnapped on Aug. 4, 1987, from Harlem Hospital after her biological mother, Joy White, brought her in with a high fever, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

White identified Pettway as the woman who raised her after being reunited with her birth parents at LaGuardia Airport on Saturday, the Post reported. White said was raised in Bridgeport, Conn., under the alias Nejdra Nance, her biological family said.

An age processed photo of Carlina White from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
An age processed photo of Carlina White from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
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National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Pettway has been missing since Thursday, despite a requirement to stay in the state of North Carolina under the terms of her parole for an unrelated arrest, officials said.

"As we've learned of her involvement in this abduction, we've been working to locate her, and we haven't been able to reach her," Keith Acree, a spokesman for the Department of Correction in North Carolina, told the Post.

Pettway's home in Raleigh, N.C., was empty Thursday, the Post reported. She may have violated her parole in the past by traveling to Connecticut and Georgia using aliases. Pettway is on parole until June 2012 because an embezzlement conviction, according to the Post.

The Manhattan's District Attorney is also involved in the search, although the state will be unable to pursue charges in the kidnapping because the statute of limitations has expired, the paper reported. The federal Justice Department, which has no such limitations, will pursue the case.

White, who now lives in Atlanta, Ga., with 5-year-old daughter of her own, had always suspected that the family raising her wasn't her own, according to her birth family.

White figured out that Pettway wasn't her real mother when the woman failed to produce documents like her birth certificate for her driver's license, or for prenatal care when she got pregnant, the paper reported.

After a search turned up for a familiar-looking photo of a girl named "Carlina Renae White" on the Missing & Exploited Children website, Carlina got in touch her birth family.

Carlina's grandmother, Elizabeth White, wants Pettway be prosecuted.

"She should serve some time, but not life, for taking 23 years of my daughter's life," said Elizabeth White, 71. "She practically destroyed my child when she took her daughter."