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WOMAN WHO TURNED DETECTIVE TO DISCOVER THAT SHE HAD BEEN KIDNAPPED AS A BABY

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX NEWS JANUARY 2011
Original Source: EXPRESS: FRIDAY 21 JANUARY 2011
Friday January 21,2011
By Joanna Walters
 
Carlina as she looks now. DNA established her identity

A YOUNG woman kidnapped from hospital as a baby was yesterday reunited with her natural family ' 23 years later.

Tears of elation and relief poured down the faces of Carlina White and her mother Joy last night as both exclaimed that at last they felt 'complete'.

'It's like being born again,' Carlina, 23, said as she hugged the real mother and father she had never known but who had never given up on her.

Carlina was kidnapped from a New York hospital in August 1987 when she was 19 days old. 

 

Parents Joy and Carl had rushed her in with a raging fever and handed her to someone they thought was a kindly nurse. In fact the nurse was an imposter.

Devastated, Joy and Carl made sobbing appeals for their daughter's return. They were pictured heartbroken next to Carlina's cot, and investigators issued a photofit of a suspect. But despite a few false trails no major clues emerged.

After being abducted, Carlina was brought up in Connecticut, less than an hour's drive from her parents, and renamed Nejdra Nance.

But she never felt she belonged and bore no physical resemblance to anyone in her extended 'family'.

She had nagging doubts about her 'mother', especially when she couldn't come up with her birth certificate.

After becoming pregnant at 16, Carlina reportedly confronted the woman, who admitted she wasn't her mother.


Carlina moved away to Georgia to bring up her own daughter, Samani, now six. And she began looking for her roots on the US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children website.

The jigsaw puzzle came together after Carlina compared baby photos she had of herself with the one from a 'missing' poster of 23 years earlier and rang the centre to explain what she suspected.

'It was a one in a million phone call,' centre director Ernie Allen said of hearing from Carlina. 'We preach all the time that just because it's been a week, a month, a year or 23 years, you can't give up.'

A few days ago, the centre in turn called Joy White.

'We may have found your daughter,' a staff member told her.

When photos of now adult Carlina were emailed to her she 'went crazy', Joy said.

'I knew right away it was her. I screamed and cried,' she added. DNA tests then confirmed what mother and daughter already knew by instinct.

The case is bound to give hope to the parents of other missing children like Madeleine McCann, who disappeared in 2007 while on holiday in Portugal.

Joy said of her daughter: 'I never took her picture off my dressing table.'

Police have yet to reveal the identity of the woman who brought up Carlina, or if any arrests are expected.

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