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Granddad: 'Miracle' brings stolen baby back as grown woman

Posted January 26, 2011

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— One phone call to a Warren County man last week ended 23 years of worry and questions: His granddaughter, kidnapped from a New York hospital in 1987, had been found alive and safe.

Charlie Tyson is the paternal grandfather of Carolina White, 23, who tracked down her own biological family after she became suspicious of the woman who raised her.

"It was a miracle really after 23 years," Tyson said.

The 73-year-old said he has trouble envisioning the granddaughter he last saw as a 19-day-old infant as a grown woman.

"I don't know whether I should buy her some baby food or take her to McDonald's, because she's grown now," he said.

Ann Pettway, 44, of Raleigh, is accused of abducting White in August 1987 from Harlem Hospital and raising the girl as her own child in Bridgeport, Conn. She surrendered to authorities in that state Sunday.

Pettway said that she was distraught and wanted a baby after suffering several miscarriages, according to a criminal complaint.

That explanation doesn't sit well with Tyson.

"There are so many kids out there now at the foster homes. She could have got a baby," he said. "But I guess she wasn't thinking."

White, who was raised as Nedjra Nance, said she became suspicious when Pettway couldn't provide her with a birth certificate and claimed that her mother was a drug user who gave her away.

As an adult, White moved to Atlanta and periodically checked the website of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. While looking through New York photos earlier this month, she found one that looked nearly identical to her own baby picture. DNA testing confirmed that she was the daughter of Joy White, and the pair reunited in New York last week.

"It's amazing, I'll you that. It's amazing," Tyson said.

Granddad: 'Miracle' brings stolen baby back Granddad: 'Miracle' brings stolen baby back

He said that his son, Carl, has gone to New York, and although he hasn't spoken to his granddaughter yet, there's talk of having a family reunion in Virginia this summer.

It's finally time for the family to heal, Tyson said.

"We still got to grow to this lady, because she's a grown lady now," he said. "We got to grow to like her, and she's got to grow to like us, too."

6 Comments

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  • LovemyPirates Jan 26, 2011

    Selfish act with long term hurt and pain. Hopefully this family can heal and come out stronger.

  • mrh2008 Jan 26, 2011

    such a happy ending and knowing her grandfather is from my home town...Warren County

  • kbo80 Jan 26, 2011

    I would like to know if the other child that the kidnapper has is her actual son or did she kidnap him too?

    And yes a picture is nice of the entire family.

  • shortcake53 Jan 26, 2011

    I truely hope Carlina has a "happy ever after" with her family. She soooooo deserves it. I wish them all the best.

  • Baybee Doll Jan 26, 2011

    Now why wouldn't my comment be posted? Let's try this again. Grandpa, take her out to Kanki for a nice celebration instead of a fast-food joint.

  • wildcat Jan 26, 2011

    A picture of the grand-father would have been nice.