Ann Pettway pleaded guilty in February to the kidnapping of baby Carlina White, who, as everyone and their dog groomer knows, was raised as Ann’s daughter and remained missing for 23 years until she basically found herself on the NCMEC website. Ann wasn’t sentenced until this month — not sure why it took so long — and she got a whooping 12 years in prison for her horrible crime.
It seems fair to me that she ought to have served one day for every day Carlina was missing. But the deed is done. A quote from this article:
Joy White, the mother, said her daughter had found her but: “I still haven’t found my daughter.”
She said she “can’t change how my daughter feels” when she talks about Pettway’s relatives as if they are her own.
“My daughter is here, but she’s not home yet,” she said.
Outside court, Tyson said the sentence “should have been longer,” but White said she was satisfied.
“If they gave her 200 years, it’s still not going to make up for the time my daughter was gone,” she said.
Carlina did not speak at the sentencing. She must feel very conflicted. I know she’s been to therapy and there may be a movie out of this, for which the parties involved have presumably been paid. (Not Pettway though; the law prohibits criminals from making money off of publicizing their crimes in this manner.) Of course the kidnapper claims she’s sorry, but she’s probably a lot more sorry she got caught.
Now that Carlina has been found…where’s Christopher Abeyta? Andre Bryant? Kamiyah Mobley? Donel Minor? Melissa McGuinn? Aleacia Stancil? Little Frederick Holmes from way back in 1955? For that matter where’s Harpreet Paul who disappeared from British Columbia over twenty years ago? And all the others…
The Connecticut Post says Ann Pettway may get a plea deal for Carlina White’s kidnapping. I think that’s best. Better not to drag Carlina/Nejdra and the White family through the whole thing again, and Pettway has no defense anyway. It’s in the News Times too.
Someone sent me this fascinating feature telling the story of Carlina White/Nejdra Nance’s complicated reunion with her biological family. I had predicted that this would be troublesome and I was right, but all is not lost. I believe Carlina and her bio-family can iron out the problems between them and have a good relationship — though not, obviously, the same one they would have had if they had raised her. Carlina seems to have a good head on her shoulders, and to be making the best of bad circumstances.
Per ABC News, Ann Pettway has turned herself over to the police in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which is where her family lives and where she raised Carlina for a time after the abduction. It sounds like that’s the first sensible thing she’s done in a long time.
Well, it’s official: Ann Pettway, Carlina White’s abductor, is on the run. At the time the whole story broke, Ann was in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is on probation for attempted embezzlement until June 2012, and isn’t allowed to leave the state without permission. Well, now nobody seems to be able to find her, so she’s listed as an absconder. Pettway has a prior record for forgery, theft, drug possession, etc. As for the kidnapping, if she is prosecuted for that, that’s a federal matter. It looks like the state statute of limitations has expired.
According to Carlina, Pettway was in fact pregnant in 1987, but lost the baby. And apparently she told no one, and when she showed up with an infant they all thought it was hers. This fits the profile of the typical baby-snatcher.
New York Times
New York Times again (with pictures of Nejdra in childhood)
WDTV Raleigh (with a picture of Ann that isn’t a mug shot)
This New York Daily News article has a photo of the kidnapper and a booking photo from a former arrest. Her name is Ann Pettway. She looks nothing like Carlina, and Ann’s family (who, they say, were ignorant of the real facts) would joke about this.
The authorities are keeping it quiet as to what’s going on legally, other than to say no charges have been filed yet. (They keep calling her the “alleged” abductor. Heh.) They’re not saying where Ann’s at, if they even know. Perhaps she’s in jail already for something else. I believe this would be a federal crime, since Ann took Carlina across state lines.
I can see why there’s no rush to file charges. We all basically know what happened, and Carlina is out of danger and reunited with her family. I highly doubt Ann has the resources to be able to skip the country and live out the rest of her life in Morocco or something. There’s plenty of time to sort things out in the criminal courts. But I certainly hope charges ARE filed. Just because it took 23 years to find Carlina doesn’t mean Ann Pettway, and whoever may have helped her with this, should get away with it. This was a terrible crime.
I am leaving her casefile up for a bit. It’s the first thing you see when you Google her name.
ABC News: “Nejdra Nance was very suspicious of who she was and what family raised her,” Lt. Christopher Zimmerman of the New York Police Department said. “There was no paperwork to follow her such as a birth certificate or social security card. In her late teens she became suspicious of who she was.”
When Carlina White was unable to get a driver’s license and saw no biological resemblance to the people she was living with, she grew suspicious.
NPR with video and pic of grown-up Carlina and her parents
New York Post with quotes from Carlina about her life