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Woman who raised kidnapped baby surrenders

HARTFORD, Conn. - A North Carolina woman who raised a child kidnapped 23 years ago from a Harlem hospital surrendered to authorities on a parole violation charge yesterday, days after a widely publicized reunion between the biological mother and the daughter taken from her as a baby.

Ann Pettway surrendered to the FBI and Bridgeport police on a warrant from North Carolina, according to FBI supervisory special agent William Reiner.

Pettway, who has family in Bridgeport, was on probation because of a conviction for attempted embezzlement and wasn't allowed to leave North Carolina. She remained in custody in Bridgeport Sunday.

North Carolina officials said Friday they believed Pettway was on the run from authorities. Correction officials had tried repeatedly to contact her after finding out that investigators wanted to question her in the 1987 abduction of the infant, Carlina White, who is 23 and has reunited with her long-lost family.

White had long suspected Pettway wasn't her biological mother because she didn't look like anyone she lived with, police and her family said, and because Pettway never provided her with a birth certificate.

White, who disappeared from Harlem Hospital, has been living under the name Nejdra Nance in Bridgeport and in the Atlanta area.

Her parents, Joy White and Carl Tyson, said a woman who looked like a nurse had comforted them at the hospital. The girl was 19 days old and had been admitted with a high fever. Her parents left the hospital to rest and found she was missing when they came back.

Carlina White would periodically check the website of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, looking through photos of missing infants. She left Connecticut for Atlanta years ago and has a 5-year-old daughter, her family said. She worked as a dispatcher and hoped to have a modeling career, they said.

On Jan. 4, she searched through New York's missing children and saw a baby photo that looked nearly identical to hers, police said. She contacted the site, which contacted Joy White. The two women exchanged photos, talked, and then met before the DNA test was confirmed.

Carlina White was in New York recently with her daughter but returned to Atlanta. After the DNA test results came back Wednesday, she returned to New York and was with her mother at a hotel.

Authorities are considering whether federal investigators should take the case because the statute of limitations may have expired in New York, New York Police Department chief spokesman Paul Browne said. There is no limitation in federal missing-children cases.

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