"Unless there's some clue, some hint, some member of the public that is suspicious, unfortunately these people do blend in," Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said.
While no one suspected anything was wrong, White did.
"Nejdra Nance was very suspicious of who she was and what family raised her," Lt. Christopher Zimmerman of the New York Police Department said. "There was no paperwork to follow her such as a birth certificate or social security card. In her late teens she became suspicious of who she was."
When Carlina White was unable to get a driver's license and saw no biological resemblance to the people she was living with, she grew suspicious.
"She said she just had a feeling, she felt different from the people raising her," Carlina White's maternal grandmother, Elizabeth White, told The Associated Press.
Carlina White began looking at web sites for missing children, including the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children. Searching for her birth year, she spotted a photo of a baby along with a composite of how the child would look at 19.
The photos looked eerily similar to baby photos of her daughter, Samani.
Carlina White called the center's hotline and said, "I don't know who I am."
The photo connected her to her mother, Joy White.
"I just always believed that she would find me. That was something that I always believed in myself, you know, that she would come and find me and that's the same way that I thought it would happen," Joy White, mother of Carlina White, told the New York Post.
Lisa White said that her sister, Joy White, knew from the photo that Carlina was the baby that was snatched from her so many years ago.
"My sister Joy called me and it made me so happy, she said, 'Lisa, guess what, they may have found Carlina.' I was like, 'Are you kidding me?' She said, 'yes, I'm going to send you these pictures of Carlina.' And I said, 'send them to me,' and she sent them and she said, 'Lisa, that is mini-me. That is me, I know that's my daughter,'" Lisa White said.
Carlina White met with her biological family last weekend.
"It was wonderful, she didn't even seem like a stranger, she just fit right in," Elizabeth White said. "We all went up there, we had dinner together, her aunts were there. She brought her beautiful daughter. It was magic."
After returning to Georgia, Carlina White flew back to New York late Wednesday night.
"I'm just so happy she's back. I said, 'you're going to get so many hugs! You're going to be sick of us.' She said, 'you know what, I never had hugs like that.' I'm just happy she's back. Thank you God, thank you Jesus. I don't want her to ever go back I want her to stay here," Lisa White said.