(NEW YORK) — The Connecticut woman who dressed as a nurse before snatching an infant from a New York hospital more than 20 years ago was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday on kidnapping charges.
Ann Pettway admitted in February that in 1987, she took a train from her home in Bridgeport, Conn., dressed up in a nurse’s outfit at Harlem Hospital, and took 3-week-old Carlina White, who was brought into the hospital by her parents for a fever.
Pettway told the girl’s parents she was taking the baby for treatment in another part of the hospital, and then took off, raising White as her own daughter for 20 years, according to statements made during the February hearing.
In her late teens, White became suspicious of how she became Pettway’s daughter and searched on an FBI website of missing children for information, leading her to reconnect with her birth family in 2011.
Pettway went on the lam from authorities trying to charge her with kidnapping before eventually surrendering and facing charges. She pleaded guilty in February, avoiding the possible sentence of life in prison if she were to stand trial.
Pettway, now 51, appeared for sentencing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan Monday. Following her time in prison, she will face three years of probation for her crimes.
Carl Tyson, the father of Carlina, said that his daughter is now living in Atlanta and the two chat occasionally. Carlina does not speak with her birth mother, Joy White, Tyson told ABC News last year.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jeanne Sahadi, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN
Andreas Preuss, CNN
Story by John Branch, CNN Video by Nick Scott