Carlina White’s mother got 19 days to bond with her child before the baby, suffering from a fever, was snatched by a woman posing as a nurse at a New York City hospital.
Although Carlina was raised not too far from the area in New York where she was born, having been given the alias Nejdra Nance while living in Bridgeport, she did not begin to suspect she was not her “mother’s” daughter until her late teens. Now 23 and with a 5-year-old child of her own, White fled to Atlanta amid “doubts” that Cassandra Pettway, the woman who she knew as her mother, was who she claimed to be.
White finally called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children around Christmas, and the staff did a DNA test to confirm her identity. The results were confirmed quickly, and center staff credits White with coming forward:
“This young woman gets all the credit,” said center President Ernie Allen. “She felt it. Now she could have been just wrong – but in this case, we were able to help her get to the truth.”
White’s mother Joy is thrilled to have her daughter back, but all parties involved have a reasonable amount of anger toward the baby-snatcher:
“I want her to suffer,” Joy White said of the kidnapper. “I want her to do some time, like I suffered for 23 years.”
It is not clear when or with what authorities plan to charge Pettway.