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Thursday
Feb242011

Confessed Kidnapper in 23-Yr-Old Carlina White Case Pleads Not Guilty

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ann Pettway, accused of kidnapping Carlina White from a hospital 23 years ago and raising the girl as her own daughter, pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday.

Pettway responded "yes sir" when a federal judge in a New York courtroom asked if she was pleading not guilty to kidnapping. Pettway is accused of impersonating a nurse and taking Carlina White from Harlem Hospital in 1987 when White was just 19 days old.

The not-guilty plea was a surprise since Pettway previously had confessed to police.

When Pettway turned herself in to authorities in January, she admitted to stealing White from Harlem Hospital and told federal agents she was "truly sorry," according to court documents.

Pettway said at the time she stole the baby only after a series of miscarriages and the realization she would not be able to conceive, according to the criminal complaint against her.

Despite being raised by Pettway, White became suspicious of the woman who raised her and took her concerns to the authorities.

When Pettway could not produce White's birth certificate, the young woman began searching missing person websites and eventually contacted the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Authorities checked her DNA against her birth parents and realized she was their missing daughter.

White's birth mother Joy White and biological sister Lisa White were in court Thursday to see Pettway arraigned.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio