Happy Ending for Carlina White But Not for Her Fake Mom

Kim Conte

police carBy now we've all pored over each and every detail of the miraculous and heartwarming story of Carlina White -- the woman who reunited with her family 23 years after being kidnapped.

But there's one part of this cold case abduction mystery that has yet to be filled in -- namely, the whodunit. Now that White is happily reunited with her biological mom, can we ask about the person who snatched her from a New York hospital so many years ago?

What's going to happen to the woman who claimed to be her real mom?

See, that's the thing about this story that has gotten under our skin: There's the feel-good aspect, of course, in which a young woman was reunited with her overjoyed biological mother, father, and other relatives after all this time. But then there's the chilling reminder of what happened 23 years ago: a 19-day-old baby was kidnapped from Harlem Hospital never to be found.

At this point, little has been said about the person who took White as a baby, but here's what we do know: Detective Martin A. Browne of the New York Police Department said the case was still an active criminal investigation but would not discuss or name any suspects:

Obviously the missing-person aspect of it is closed, but the abduction part of it is not ... We have our suspicions of who may be responsible, but not enough probable cause to permit an arrest.

In addition, a witness in Bridgeport, Connecticut, confirmed that her daughter, Cassandra Pettway, had raised Carlina and that the two were with her at Christmas. However, police have not confirmed that Carlina's kidnapper and the woman who raised her are one in the same.

Here's Cassandra's response when the media contacted her:

Are you serious ... What do you think my relationship is with her? Mother? No, that's why I won't talk to the media. They have it all wrong.

And, Carlina herself hasn't said much about the woman she once believed to be her mom -- saying only that she used phony IDs and Social Security numbers and was a drug user who abused her.

Obviously, there's still much more to this story, and while we can want justice for the kidnapper, in the meantime we can certainly be happy for Carlina and her biological family.


Image via Silenus81/Flickr

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