This case is yet another case that proves you should never give up hope until your child is found if they disappear with no trace. When times feel like you are at your wits end, remember there is always that small chance that your child too, could be found one day and when they are you can always say you and the family never stopped looking.

Carlina White was only 19 days old when her parents had to take her to the emergency room for a high fever. While there in the hospital, on August 4, 1987 Ann Pettway decided to take the baby and run with her.

Pettway took a train from where she lived in Bridgeport Connecticut to a Harlem Hospital. According to the child’s biological mother, Pettway talked to her while at the hospital. Joy White said she remembers Pettway’s words to her. White thought Pettway was a nurse. Pettway told her, “Don’t cry. Your daughter is going to be OK.”

For the next 24 years there was no sign of Joy White and Carl Tyson’s daughter. Pettway took the baby and raised her as her own. She pretended the baby was hers. She even had a few run-ins with the law. Reports say she had been busted six times between 1997 and 2010 for things like robbery, larceny, forgery, pot possession and attempted embezzlement. So how is it that she wasn’t she busted then with this stolen baby? This makes no sense to me.

In January 2010, Carlina White was asked for Identification, such as a birth certificate, when she was inquiring about prenatal care for her own child. When she asked Pettway about it, she told Carlina she didn’t have any identification for her because she had been given to her by a woman that used drugs.

Carlina started questioning about Pettway being her biological mother in December 2010 so she went to the website of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and as she looked through all the photos, she found a photo of herself when she was a baby. The NCMEC helped Carlina contact her biological parents. In January 2011 DNA tests proved Carlina was indeed the daughter of Joy White and Carl Tyson.

When she heard that the police were after her she turned herself in to the Bridgeport Connecticut Police. The FBI interviewed her and during that interview she told them that she had been trying to have a baby but had several miscarriages so that was why she went to that hospital and stole a baby.

Pettway who is 50 years old now, managed to get a plea deal which had the prosecutors agree to recommend between 10 and 12 ½ years if she plead guilty to the charges but the judge will actually have the final say. She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 14, 2012. She could still receive life in prison if the judge sees fit.

Now the biological mother and daughter speak to each other every day. “I love my daughter. She’s a beautiful girl,” said Joy White. “She told me yesterday, mommy, you’re my valentine.”

I am so happy for this family. To think after 24 years of looking for your child, you can only imagine the excitement in ones heart knowing that child is alive and you are reunited with her again. My heart smiles for Joy White and Carl Tyson. This is indeed a story with a happy ending. God bless all of them and thank you God for the answered prayers for this family.

Jan Barrett

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