Woman confesses to 1987 Harlem baby kidnapping

Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:52pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A woman who raised a child who went missing from a New York hospital 23 years ago was ordered detained on Monday on kidnapping charges, a day after she confessed to snatching the baby and turned herself in.

According to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. federal court in Manhattan, Ann Pettway admitted to taking the victim from a Harlem hospital and bringing her to Connecticut. She is charged with one count of kidnapping.

Pettway, 49, was ordered detained and did not apply for bail at a brief hearing on Monday. Dressed in a dark blue jail smock, she did not enter a plea.

She faces up to life in prison if convicted and is due back in court on February 7.

Pettway told investigators she had been dealing with the stress of several miscarriages.

"She's pretty upset," said Robert Baum, her attorney. "She understands the gravity of the charges."

Authorities had been looking for Ann Pettway ever since news broke last week that Carlina White, who was raised by Pettway, had been reunited with her biological family in New York. Pettway turned herself in to authorities on Sunday.

White's biological father Carl Tyson was in court on Monday but declined to speak to reporters.

Police say that in 1987, Carlina's biological mother Joy White had just given birth and gave the newborn to a woman in the hospital dressed as a nurse. The baby was not seen again.   Continued...