Ann Pettway, woman who kidnapped and raised Carlina White, is on the run
As police hunted Friday for the woman who spent 23 years raising a kidnapped baby, the girl's real father said his daughter was fed a series of heart-rending lies while growing up.
The still-missing Ann Pettway told Carlina White that "her mother had died, that her father was in jail and that she was put up for adoption," dad Carl Tyson told the Daily News.
City and federal authorities want to question Pettway, 49, after DNA tests showed that Tyson and Joy White were Carlina's parents.
"They think it was Ann who took the baby," Tyson said after speaking with police. "I really want just two minutes with Ann Pettway. If she was in front of me, I would ask her, 'Why? Why? Why?'"
Cops issued an arrest warrant for Pettway, raising the stakes for the woman who claimed Carlina was her daughter. Pettway, who has not been charged in the shocking kidnapping case, is suspected of violating probation stemming from an unrelated conviction.
"She is willfully fleeing supervision," said Pam Walker of the North Carolina Department of Corrections.
Pettway was on probation because of a conviction for attempted embezzlement and is not allowed to leave North Carolina. She's been busted on a handful of petty crimes since 1977.
Carlina's half-brother, Sydney Reynolds, reflected on the pain yesterday. He said the person who kidnapped the 19-day-old infant from Harlem Hospital in August 1987 broke his mother's heart.
"She kind of ripped our whole family apart, and I had to watch that my whole life with my mom," said Reynolds, 21. "It's kind of crazy."
Pettway, a resident of Raleigh, N.C., was described by a former co-worker as a good employee who loved to talk about her 13-year-old son - but kept quiet about his older sibling.
"Whenever I asked her about her daughter, she got kind of weird, like she didn't want to talk about her," said the co-worker from Bell's Carpet and Floors in Raleigh.
A relative of Ann Pettway said she never asked any questions about whether her cousin was actually pregnant with the baby known to them as Nejdra Nance.
"It was a very good childhood," the relative said. "She may be with her real family now, but she's always a part of our family no matter what."
Carlina was hospitalized with a 104-degree fever when a woman dressed as a nurse spirited her out of the hospital. She grew up in Bridgeport, Conn., and moved to Atlanta last year.
The case remained unsolved until she took matters into her own hands, tracking down her birth parents with the help of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.