Update: Carlina White and Mom Struggle to Bond

February 8, 2011  |  

Remember Carlina White?  She was the child, now woman, who was abducted from the hospital and raised by a woman that wasn’t her mother. Carlina, who was renamed Nejdra Nance, reunited with her mother and father a few weeks ago. It seemed like a happy ending, but the story didn’t end there.

Since meeting her parents, Carlina has returned to Atlanta. There are also claims that she’s gone back to using the name Nejdra Nance again. Joy White recently told the Today Show that she felt Carlina’s family was pressuring her.

“It really hurts,” said Joy White, who described herself as “heartbroken, but I do understand that is her family. She was brought up by them. She’s with that family. That’s all she knows. [But] I’m her mother. It hurts not to have my daughter. I want her back.”

Money might be complicating the story. Carlina’s biological parents received a $750,000 settlement after the kidnapping. Her parents put the money aside for Carlina in case she was returned by the time she was 21. When they didn’t find her, Joy used the money to support her and her two other children.

While she hasn’t been back to see her parents, she has asked about the settlement money as well as the $10,000 reward offered for her return.

Meanwhile, Ann Pettway, the woman who raised Carlina, is in a detention center until her trial.

What do you think, is Carlina suffering from an identity crisis or is she a little money hungry?

You can see the video of Joy White on the Today Show below.


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  • Cristina

    Actually, is was supposed to be her money too. So much, that she’s not allowed to sue the city for damages because her parents sued on her behalf. SHe has every right to ask about the money, and her birth mother really, REALLY shouldn’t be going on TV talking badly about her daughter.

  • Lateshia

    I’m watching the movie on Lifetime today and this is my first time hearing about Carlina White. I don’t pay to much story to the news because stories like this happen. Anyways, usually kids that have been kidnapped by unknown people and reunite with their bio-parents wind up wanting to stay with their bio-parents. This one is very twisted and I think like you all said “MONEY” is the route of this problem. Its sad, your bio-parents love you and have been crying day and night looking for you and worried and the child just want to worry about money. The movie made me mad as I was watching it and the story as I’m reading it. That kidnapper should be punished for everything she put that family through. I hate the aunt because she is trying to make Carlina stay with her side of the family she should be telling her to go to her bio-parents tell the little girl don’t call me “aunt” I’m not your aunt. I say she is 23 or how ever old she is one day she will need her bio-family what goes around comes around.

  • I think she is money hungry, too. If the characters in the Lifetime movie are any indication of Pettways’ family I would say that Carlina was raised very ratchet-ly and therefore is ratchet.

  • sarah b.

    Carlina looks just like her bio-mom. Carlina should’ve just make the best of it. On top of the family she has now, she now just gained another, her bio-family. Which I read her parents split & remarried, so therefore, Carlina has gained 2 new families. that in itself is great. I meet people who have no family. No siblings, no parents, no aunts, uncles, cousins or grandparents. Just friends. & I know they’d love to one day inherit a family !! Always gotta try to make the most of the crappy situations.

    • sarah b.

      ooops.. should’ve just made the best of it.

      • jonathan t

        Such a naive response. Carlina does desrve compensation for all the stress she has endured over trhis tragic situation. The parents should pay her on a monthly stipend that they could afford. Heck, it may not be fair to the bio parents of having to wait so long, BUT it would be the right thing to do. Moral of story: life is not always fair, but Justice should always prevail. Anne Pettways life may have not been fair, but that is irrelevant in the eyes of justice.

  • lala

    OMG Carlina asking her birth parents about some settlement money?? That’s the parents’ money. & they can do what they want w/it, which seems like they did. They put it away for her & finally realized she wasn’t coming home so why not use it on the kids we have now. I completely agree. & it’s THEIR money that THEY won. THEIR lawsuit & THEIR settlement. Carlina didn’t file a lawsuit, why would she think she’s entitled to it? so had the bio-parents still had some money for her, she would have stayed & tried to develop a relationship w/them?? & then soon as it ran out, fled back to what-ever family she has? This Carlina girl pissed me off when i read there was an issue over money. WOW

  • Ebony_Wooodrow

    She’s Money Hungry Nd Confused…It Jus Doesn’t Make Sense To Search For Ur Real Parents Then When U Find Them…U Dnt Even Stay Around…Once She Found Out The Money Was Gone She Left…No One Said Or Believes It Was Goin To Be Easy Loving Both Families…Bt Giving It A Chance Would Have Helped

  • diva doll

    My heart aches for this woman! That woman stole her child and saw her on tv looking for her but didnt care. The her daughter finally finds and rejects her after she finds out that some dang money is gone? Funny how the daughter was “nothing” like the woman who stole her but is displaying all of her selfish, self serving ways. I can not imagine how this woman feels. I feel more sorry for the kidnapper and original mother than I do for the girl. She had an okay life with no hurt and it still resulted in her hurting someone else. I pray deeply for her because her ways are shameful. How could she hurt her parents this way? Who gives a darn about that money?? I’m sure she got money from this dang Lifetime movie…isnt that enough

    • jonathan t

      F rom a logical perspective, you’ve got it all wrong. This is tragic situation. Regardless of the abductor’s motives and how she brought her up(even if it was all good and loving), the abductor created this whole mess to begin with. The biological parents waited 21 yrs., before the money was used. The circumstances are unfortunate, but carlina does deserve compensation. I say that her parents pay her back on a monthly stipend, plus any monies from movie deals etc. Should also go to her. The abductor’s sentence should have been much stiffer like at least 25 yrs minimum to life. Again, regardless of how good she brought her up or her motives JUSTICE will be served. I’m sure she ain’t gonna go to heaven either.

  • shakeema hodge

    I strongly feel that she is money hungry,and it makes me sick to my stomach that she didn’t give her real birth parents a chance after all that they been through,what was the point of her looking for her real birth parents if she was gonna treat them the way she did and then throw them under the bus,Smh

  • Eve L

    This story really breaks my heart. Joy White and Carl Tyson missed out on the first 23 years of their daughters life not knowing if she was dead or alive. I can imagine she to is going through a million emotions. I also think it unfair that she didn’t even give them a fair chance of getting to know her and bond with her. It seems as she feel that her loyalty is to the Pettway family;which is very unfair to her real parents. I know that the family had no involvement. But i couldn’t see myself having any kind of emotions or feeling for Ann Pettway for making my life so complicated. Even after everything she still lied to her of how she ended up getting her. She can see for herself how her REAL MOTHER continuously did interviews and searching for her on the regular…i just think it was very unfair for her to withdraw herself from those who loved her for years even though they had no idea of what she look like.

    • Cristina

      “But i couldn’t see myself having any kind of emotions or feeling for Ann Pettway for making my life so complicated”
      You need some empathy then. What’s wrong with people?, Ann is the only mother she’s ever known.

  • monique

    It’s terribly unfortunate that this had to happen. This child was taken away from her parents before she even had a chance to bond. The only mother she knows is the one she lived with and was raised by. Now she’s a young adult and meeting her biological parents for the first time. That has to be difficult for all involved. The woman that took her life away should be punished to the fullest extent. No one has a right to destroy a family, rob them of their peace and happiness.

    • Unknown

      Well said!!! It’s really a sad story. Me personally I don’t think I would care about the money, long as I have my real family back.:-( But I do know she’s definitely gonna need some kinda of counseling.

      • von

        I agree 100% I understand Carlina or Netty whom ever she fill comfortable with being called. She have her bio family that love her and want her back then she got the family she was,kidnapped into that had no I deal that her so call,mother stolen her. She confuse and scary we don’t no what going on in her life we are getting pieces of the story. I think if I was in her shoes I wouldn’t want anything to do with both family because I would confuse and don’t know who to trust. But I hope she can come around and be a family with both side if it make her happy.

    • jonathan t

      Exactly. I’m sure G-d will punish her once she dies- the abductor that is

  • Amm

    Wow who cares about the money reunite with your real family i cant believe shes acting like that i do believe shes confused but shes sounds money hungry for not wanting to reunite with her real fam over that

  • sky blue

    It's such a crying shame. I think she's confused. She definately needs some outside intervention like therapy.

  • dontWorryboutIt

    Ryyyyy, maybe u shouldstep out of ur little box and see more of the wolrld if u see too many ghetto people in ur surroundings. Dont blame every other black person for the ignorance of a selected group of slumdogs.

  • MzKissMySwagg

    I agree that something seems off. First of all how did she find out about the 750k in the first place? Second what type of person goes back to someone who kidnapped them in the first place? I mean they deprived her of knowing her real family she shouldn’t want anything to do with them after finding out the truth.

    Now Ryan you are a bitter Betty mixed with a lot of negative Nancy. You should try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and stop your stereotypical ways now cause they will only lead to a long bitter life and a face full of wrinkles.

    • Ryan

      MCKissMYSwagg, I am very bitter, you are correct. Bitter that getto types pop out kids like bunnies at my expense. I don't care if they are black, plenty of trash that are white, red, yellow, and polka dotted too, just seems far too many are negros.I would love to know how much MA and welfare we have paid out over the years for all involved in this story.

      • Dee

        She was born to a couple who lived an wants her not popped out.

      • diva doll

        There was no welfare for her. How could she get any welfare for someone she was hiding? Why are you bitter? My goodnes. I would be more concerned about my soul if I were you!!! Everyone needs help and no I do not have children. I have my masters, pay plenty of taxes… I just happen to have a heart!

  • yaya

    Why ask about the money? What would be important to me if i was in this situation… could the bio mother prove that she has the money in the bank until Carlina's 21st bday. If she can prove that… then in my eyes, it would be okay cause they can't hold on to the money forever. Come on now. Trust me.. everyone would have used the money after the deadline

    • lala

      Right, I would have used the money too. Especially since there were children born after the kidnapping. Why have it sitting in a bank for one child, when I can use it for my children that are here w/me today.

  • olivia

    She's super confused right now. If I were that age, I might be looking for a cut of that 750,000.
    It's only natural.

    She doesn't "know" her birth mother at all. They might need therapy.

  • VIctoria

    Wow…I think. Wait, I probably would have asked for it too.

  • creativeaddictionblog

    Seems like she's a lil money hungry if that's the only thing she's concerned about all this time. I tell ya…

  • iffy

    wait, she asked for the money?

    • shani

      lol, I was shocked & irritated to read that too. That’s the parents’ money, not hers. lol