July 15, 1987 was probably the happiest day for Joe White and Carl Tyson, the parents of little Carlina, born that day in one of New York’s maternity wards. But she was a bit unlucky early in her lifeswallowed a mouthful of amniotic fluid and it quickly caused an infection in the newborn baby girl’s body.
They didn’t know he was seeing his child for the last time
Although the parents were able to take their child home, later, after 19 days, they were rushed to the hospital in Harlem with their baby girl, who was suffering from high fevers. When a caring and empathetic nurse cared for a child at the hands of his mother, it would be hard to wonder how long it would take them to see each other again. Carlina spent several hours in the hospital, where she received much-needed antibiotics. But then came the night shift on the ward, and soon after, it was discovered that the cot the little girl was supposed to lie in was empty.
Later, the staff recalled that they had seen a strong woman in a nurse’s uniform several times in the hospital, but they did not know it. It was Ann Pettway, a kidnapper just waiting for her big opportunity. And on the night of August 4 to 5, she too experienced it.
Parents had no idea where their daughter was growing up
One cannot imagine what the new parents, already so frightened by fear for their newborn daughter’s health, had to endure when they learned of their child’s disappearance. Moreover, no matter how intense the search, they always missed all the results that would give them hope for a new meeting. Even though Carlina was abducted a “short distance” from her parents in Bridgeport, where she began raising her as her own daughter. Carlina White was now Nejdra Annugett, where she grew up and graduated from primary and secondary school. Although Ann took good care of her, her real parents had no idea what had happened to their daughter, whether she was still alive or had suffered the same fate as many other abducted children. Their relationship did not withstand such strain and they broke up a year after the kidnapping.
Fake birth certificate and another lie kidnapper
When Carlina, at that time long ago, was, in fact, Nejdra, eighteen years old, she got pregnant and needed her birth certificate to get everything she needed. To her surprise, she discovered that it was a fake. So she punched her supposed mother, and she told her a heartbreaking story of her own drug-addicted parents who left her, so Ann took care of her and cared for her as if she were her own. This only confirmed Carlina’s earlier suspicions that she was not part of the family to which her younger brother (real son Ann Pettway) belonged. At that time, such an explanation was enough for pregnant Carlina, but the desire of her biological parent to find one that she had not given up on had settled in her head.
She solved the case of her own kidnapping
A few years later, while revisiting the pages of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, she was drawn to a photo of a kidnapped newborn, strikingly similar to her own daughter. At that moment, it occurred to him that such a resemblance would not be a chance joke. She turned to the authorities, who, through DNA testing, concluded that her suspicions were justified and correct. So, after twenty-three long years, Carlina was able to meet her biological parents. But after so many years, it’s not easy or maybe even possible to build on a relationship that was just beginning a long time ago. In addition, disputes arose that few could have foreseen at such a time.
The found family was disentangled by the money
After the initial joy of meeting her parents, Carlina also turned to the more practical side of things – the state paid them compensation for the loss of the child in the hospital, and their found daughter would like to receive at least a share of the amount paid. But the money has long since been spent. This brought great disagreements to the restored family for some time. Fortunately, they all got over them later, but the relationships aren’t what they could be.
Ten years in prison did not break the relationship with the “girl”
The kidnapper, whom Carlina considered her mother, wandered behind bars for more than ten years. The sentence could have been much heavier, but as a mitigating circumstance the attorney and Ann herself reported her poor mental state at the time of the abduction, as she struggled after several miscarriages and her maternal instincts overrode any moral restraints or perhaps any law. She remained in contact with her “daughter” until her release in 2021, and even now Carlina has contact with both of her families, albeit to a limited extent. She prefers to withdraw from the public sphere and especially from the attention of the media and leads a quiet life with her daughter, who unwittingly led her on the trail of her own identity, under the official name of Carlina White. But she goes by the nickname Netty, which she adopted long before her true origin was revealed.
At the time of its resolution, the case of Carlina White has become a great hope for all other parents who have missed their children for many years and still hope for a happy ending to this crazy nightmare.
Source: en.wikipedia, BBC News, NYTimes
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