This item won’t do much for the Goss Watchers out there, but it’s pretty darn heartwarming nonetheless. A young mother — who disappeared from a Harlem hospital as an infant in 1987, becoming the subject of one of New York City’s most baffling missing persons cases — has been reunited with the parents who never gave up hope of finding her.
On Aug. 4, 1987, worried teen parents Joy White and Carl Tyson took their feverish baby daughter to Harlem Hospital’s Emergency Room. The visit turned into horror when Carlina, 19 days old, was kidnapped. The family says a mystery woman who had been loitering around the hospital for weeks disguised as a nurse was responsible for the kidnapping. A $10,000 reward was offered for the safe return of the baby girl, but years passed without her return.
Carlina was raised Njedra Nance, the battered and neglected daughter of a drug addict. She had suspicions growing up that she was not biologically-related to the family that raised her in Bridgeport, Connecticut, just a train ride away from her real family in nearby New York City. Her suspicions grew when she turned sixteen and lacked any of the documentation — ie: a birth certificate — that she would need to obtain a driver’s license.
Confounded and now living in Atlanta, Carlina contacted the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children website over the holidays, where she found a photo of a girl of a three-week-old named “Carlina Renae White,” who looked an awful lot like she did as a baby. The Center teamed up with NYPD and together authorities put the final pieces together.
Joy and Carl split a short time after Carlina went missing, but settled a lawsuit against the hospital, whose lax security measures likely played a role in their daughter’s disappearance. A portion of the $750,000 sum remains in a trust fund set up for Carlina.
Charges could still be brought against Cassandra Pettway, the woman suspected of snatched Baby Carlina. There’s no statute of limitations for kidnappings of children under the age of 18 as long as the child is still alive.