Jan. 23, 2011— -- The woman who raised Carlina White, who was abducted from a New York City hospital 23 years ago, will face kidnapping charges, a federal prosecutor said today, hours after the woman turned herself in to police.
Ann Pettway, who had dropped from sight after federal and New York law enforcement officials launched fresh probes into the girl's disappearance from a hospital in 1987, surrendered in Bridgeport, Conn., where her mother lives, according to officials.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Pettway is expected to appear in federal court in Manhattan Monday to face kidnapping charges.
Pettway, the woman White called Mom while growing up, has several aliases as well as a criminal history that includes charges of embezzlement, forgery, theft and drugs. She is on parole for embezzlement charges in North Carolina, where she lives, the New York Post reported.
Authorities have not called Pettway a suspect, and the woman has defended herself saying that she was a good mom.
"I just hope that the officials be able to get her in their hands, so we can just hear her side of the story now," White told the New York Post.
White has since been reunited with her biological parents, Joy White and Carl Tyson, and has described a childhood of abuse, telling the New York Post that the woman hit her and threw things like shoes at her.
When she was just 19 days old, Carlina White was abducted from Harlem Hospital on Aug. 4, 1987. Her worried parents, Joy White and Carl Tyson, had taken their feverish baby to the hospital.
"Way I feel when I lost my daughter, oh my God, that was like a big part of my heart just was ripped apart," Carl Tyson told the Post.
The family claims a woman disguised as a nurse took Carlina White.
"For a person to put on a nurse suit, to wander in the hospital," Carlina White told the New York Post. "You knew what you were doing."
The woman had reportedly just lost her own baby.