Woman Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping Baby in 1987

A woman accused of kidnapping a stranger's baby from Harlem Hospital over two decades ago and raising the baby as her own child plead guilty in Manhattan Federal Court today.

Ann Pettway admitted today in Brooklyn Federal Court that she kidnapped 3-week-old Carlina White from Harlem Hospital in August, 1987.

Pettway, 50, agreed on a sentence of 10-12 years in prison, which was significantly less than the 20 year minimum sentence for Federal Kidnapping, it was thought she would receive. The judge is not bound by that ruling.

While Carlina White was not present in the court, her biological parents who she was reunited with last year, were.

Her biological mother, Joy White, says she felt it was merciless what Pettway did.

"She knew what she was doing, and then for the 23 years that I've been pleading for my daughter to come back, she's been watching TV, and looking and seeing that I've been pleading for my daughter. She is so cruel. She is so mean after everything she did to me and my family," said White.

Pettway kidnapped White posing as a nurse in Harlem Hospital on Aug. 4, 1987. Pettway took the baby to Bridgeport, Conn., where she raised her as her own, giving her the new name Nejdra Nance.

White, who is now 24, became suspicious when she asked Pettway for her birth certificate, and Pettway could not produce it or any other documents which proved her identity. When White questioned her about it, Pettyway told her she received her from a woman who took drugs.

She was shocked to discover her photo on missing children websites, that she had indeed been kidnapped as a baby.

"Nothing can compensate Carlina White or her parents for what was stolen from them when she was seized from the Harlem Hospital 23 years ago," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.