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Carlina White Update: After Reunion, Grown Child and Biological Mother Grow Distant?

Carlina White was just 19 days old when she disappeared from Harlem Hospital on Aug. 4, 1987. Police searched for her kidnappers but never found enough evidence to charge any suspects. That baby -- now a grown woman at age 23 -- has found her way home. Her mother, Joy White, always had a feeling that her baby was alive, her family said. Kidnapped Newborn Finds Family - 23 Years Later Special Section: Eye on Parenting CBS

Carlina White Update: Lost Child, Biological Mother Grow Distant, Says Report
Carlina White (Personal Photo)

(CBS/AP) It was a fairy tale ending of mammoth proportions when 23-year-old Carlina White was finally reunited with her biological family last month after being snatched from a New York City hospital as an infant and raised by another woman.

But in an unfortunate turn of events Carlina's mother, Joy White, says her long lost daughter has grown distant - returning to her home in Atlanta where she has a daughter of her own, and asking about money she thought should be coming her way,  according to reports.

Carlina was just 19 days old when her parents took her to Harlem Hospital with a high fever late on Aug. 4, 1987. Joy and Carlina's father, Carl Tyson, said a woman who looked like a nurse had comforted them. The couple left the hospital to rest, but their baby was missing when they returned the next day.

Ann Pettway, of Raleigh, North Carolina, surrendered last month and confessed to taking Carlina, who was raised as Nejdra Nance, from the hospital more than two decades ago after her own efforts with childbearing failed, says the FBI. She is being held without bail on kidnapping charges.

Joy told NBC television on Tuesday that their reunion was a miracle, but her relationship with her daughter is difficult.

Carlina White Update: Lost Child, Biological Mother Grow Distant, Says Report
Carlina White (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
"I was on such a high when I first reunited with my daughter," White said on the Today Show. "I was floating in air. I was so happy and that moment was so great."

However, after two decades apart Joy confessed that she and her daughter are like strangers.

"I think it had a lot to do with the Pettway family," Joy told Today. "She'd been with them for 23 years. That's her family. I think it's maybe a lot of pressure on her now, being that she found her mom. It really hurts, you know? It's an emotional, overwhelming situation."

According to Joy, money has also played a significant role in the distance between her and her daughter. She said Carlina told her she would only do interviews with the media for money.

In 1992, Joy's family received $750,000 in a lawsuit settlement from the City of New York. Half of the money went directly to the family, while the other a half was held in a trust to be paid to Carlina if she were found before her 21st birthday, according to Today.

But that wasn't the case, and now Joy says the money from Carlina's trust fund has already been spent.

"We don't have the money ... we both had to live ..." she told Today. "...I have two other kids, a son and a daughter, you know, and I had to take care of myself."

Carlina said she had long suspected that Pettway wasn't her biological mother because she could never provide her with a birth certificate. That speculation led Carlina to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Web site where she found a photo that looked nearly identical to her own baby picture.

She contacted Joy through the organization, and they met in New York before DNA tests were complete, confident they were mother and daughter. Test results later confirmed it.

Though Joy says she is "disappointed" that her daughter is placing a heavy emphasis on money, she says wants to spend time with Carlina so they can get to know each other.

Carlina currently remains in Atlanta and is reportedly using the name Nejdra Nance, with which she was raised.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF CARLINA WHITE ON CRIMESIDER

  • Naimah Jabali-Nash

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