The Carlina White Story: A Synopsis

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Late night Lifetime movies are often based on a true story. When The Carlina White Story was playing at two in the morning, I realized that this was a story that struck extremely close to home. A young woman of 23 years raised in Bridgeport figured out her own kidnapping case. Of course, my inquisitive nature kicked in and I looked into the case. The article I read detailed the 1987 kidnapping up until the trial. Annugetta Pettway was a woman who suffered several miscarriages and stillbirths. Her desire to have a baby was so strong that she would kidnap a three week old from a children’s ward in Harlem in August of 1987. “Carlina White was abducted when she was 19 days old. On Aug. 4, 1987, she was brought to Harlem Hospital with a high fever by her mother, Joy White. A stranger, dressed in a nurse’s uniform, approached the anxious mother to console her. A few hours later it was discovered that Carlina was missing” (Robbins and Berger, 2011). Pettway had stowed away the baby, got on a train to Bridgeport, CT, renamed the child Nedjra Nance and raised her as her own. By the time the child was 16 years old, she realized that she looked nothing like Pettway and began to think that they might not be related when Pettway could not provide her with her birth certificate. Carlina White eventually moved to Georgia and solved her own kidnapping case. “Ms. White eventually turned to a web site of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and there discovered a photograph that matched other infant photos” (Robbins and Berger, 2011). After getting into contact with Joy White, who then referred to the NYPD, Carlina White, Joy White, and Carl Tyson all had DNA samples taken and it was confirmed that Carlina White, now 23 years old, was in fact their missing daughter. Soon after, Annugetta Pettway was taken to trial and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
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