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Carlina "Netty" White, Kidnapped At Birth, Tells All

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NEJDRA NANCE
This poster released by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows Carlina White as an infant, left, and what she might have looked like as an adult, right. White, who was kidnapped 23 years ago as an infant from a Harlem hospital bed and raised under a different name, was reunited with her birth mother on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children) | AP

It was perhaps one of the most improbable storybook endings you’ve ever heard.

Carlina White, kidnapped a few days after her birth from a Harlem hospital in 1987, tracked down her birth parents and reunited with them to the cheers and tears of an entire nation.

After 23 years the parents of the little girl were reunited with their child. Never before in America had so much time lapsed between a kidnapping and a reunion.

If only it truly was an end to the story or the warm and fuzzy stuff of storybooks.

Not long after the reunion, things seemed to fall apart. Rumor had it that the now-split birth parents and Nance, who was raised by her alleged abductor and whose name was changed from Carlina White to Nejdra Nance, had a falling out. Nance was said to be angry over a spent-through settlement between the city and White’s parents worth $162,000 dollars.

Biological parents, Joy White and Carl Tyson, took to national television and seemed dumbfounded that no sooner had they reunited with their daughter, she was pulling away. She said she was grateful to find out who she really was, but, in an ode to her former life, she now goes by the nickname "Netty," short for Nejdra.

In an exclusive interview with New York Magazine this week, White and her birth parents dish on what really went down and how such a beautiful moment turned seriously sour.

Carlina White said she loves her alleged abductor Ann Pettway, who is behind bars and faces 20 years in prison if convicted of the kidnapping, and has avoided becoming closer with her parents.

In an exclusive interview with New York Magazine this week, Nance and her birth parents dish on what really went down and how such a beautiful moment for all of them turned seriously sour.

“I was on such a high when I first reunited with my daughter,” Joy White, the girl’s mother told the magazine. “I was floating on air. I was so happy, and that moment was so great.” Now, she said, “I’m disappointed. This was a miracle that happened. It’s breathtaking. And I just wanted to get that out there, that we found our daughter and that we’re happy. We’re reunited, and I wanted to share that with the world. And it really hurts me that it’s—it’s about money.”

To read more from the New York Magazine exclusive on Nejdra Nance kidnapping saga, click here.

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