Infant Abductor Sentenced To Twelve Years

Posted by Accutech on January 1, 1970 12:00 am

A woman who admitted to abducting an infant from a Manhattan hospital in 1987 was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Ann Pettway pleaded guilty in February, and was faced by the mother of the girl, now 26 years old, during sentencing.

Infant protection is critical to prevent tragedy.

“I had only spent 19 days with my daughter,” Joy White told Pettway, who admitted stealing White’s daughter when she was just 19 days old.

“I bathed her. I changed her. I put lotion on her. I put bows in her hair. She got a 104-degree fever, and we brought her to the hospital, and the doctors said she would have to be treated for a week. How could anybody rip intravenous tubes out of a sick baby and take her?”

The baby girl, named Carlina Renae White, was taken to Harlem Hospital in New York City on August 4, 1987 to be treated. Early the next day hospital staff discovered Carlin was missing.

And for 23 years the child grew to a young woman never knowing she was living with the wrong family. When Carlina, now known as Nejdra, was pregnant with her own child she had difficulties obtaining a birth certificate and became suspicious. Ultimately she contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and DNA tests confirmed that she was not Pettway’s child. Pettway turned herself into the FBI shortly after she was reunited with her birth mother. Carlina chose to stay in Georgia an avoid the difficult scene.

Both families listened as Pettway’s defense lawyer explained her difficult life as one of ten children by five fathers, physical and sexual abuse, pregnancy at 15 with an ongoing series of stillbirths and miscarriages, including one a few months before the abduction.

Carlina’s relationship with her birth parents is ongoing and difficult but all of them are optimistic. There is no possible way they will have the relationship they were meant to have but, with time, they may find the love they lost long ago.

Unfortunately it’s too late to stop this tragedy but infant abductions are more and more difficult thanks to preventative measures taken by healthcare facilities. Staff education is critical; Pettway fit many of the traits of a classic infant abductor and knowing the signs can prevent a potential incident. Technology is also a key defender in infant protection and the Accutech Cuddles system is leading the way with comfortable, self-adjusting wristbands and support tools that keep maternity floors secure and new patients safe.

Topics: Cuddles