We might want to put all those feel-good stories about Carlina White out to dry.
It seems Carlina, who was reunited with her birth family after being raised from infancy by her kidnapper, is having some trouble adjusting.
Should we be surprised?
The Carlina White story has been full of more twists and turns than a backwoods road.
Listening to an interview with her birth mother, Joy White (pictured above), on the 'Today' show reveals that Carlina and her birth family are unfortunately going through a very tough time.
In the heart-wrenching interview, Joy described the joy of reuniting with Carlina after a 23-year separation and explained her new pain, involving the split between Carlina and her birth family.
Carlina, who has refused to grant interviews unless she is paid, seems to be going through an identity crisis: She's torn between Joy and her new family and Ann Pettway, the woman who kidnapped her as an infant, gave her the name Nejdra Nance and raised her as her own daughter.
The infant's disappearance triggered a massive manhunt in New York and a reward was offered for her return.
But it was Carlina who actually solved her own kidnapping with the help of a computer database of missing children.
As sad as it may be for all involved, it is understandable that White is having some problems adjusting to her new world.
She has to harbor resentment against her kidnapper-mother Pettway, but can that resentment wash away 23 years of the mother-daughter bond between them? I don't think so, even if the bond was built on a felony charge of kidnapping.
And now, Carlina is asking some uncomfortable financial questions of Joy White and her birth father, Carl Tyson.
Joy and Tyson received a $750,000 financial settlement from a lawsuit against the city, which runs Harlem Hospital.
On the 'Today' show, Joy said she and Tyson had put aside a portion of the money for their daughter if they found her by the age of 21; Carlina was found at 23.
When Carlina asked Joy what happened to that money, she was told it was spent raising her biological siblings.
How much do you want to bet some longtime friends and Pettway family members are in Carlina's ear asking her why her new family doesn't share some of the cash they received from her disappearance?
Joy said that Carlina has moved back to Atlanta and has been reluctant to have contact with her new family. Carlina has also returned to using the name Nejdra.
This story is becoming a sad mess.
That is why Pettway needs to be dealt the harshest penalty the law can give. She has screwed up Carlina's life, and it's impossible to tell whether she'll ever get through it mentally intact.
And don't forget what Pettway's kidnapping did to Joy White and Carl Tyson. It was about as close to murder as one can commit without producing a cold body: Every day for 23 years, Joy White and Carl Tyson believed their daughter was dead.
Pettway may have raised Carlina as her own child, but she gets no credit points from me for that.
She needs to go to prison for a long while.
Watch Joy White discuss her estranged daughter here:
- Carlina White Thought Mom Was a Drug Addict
- Carlina White Update: Alleged Baby Kidnapper Ann Pettway Now in Custody
- Alleged Baby Kidnapper Ann Pettway Held Without Bail
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