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Miracle Reunion: Daughter snatched from hospital reunited with mom 23 years later

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(CNN) — In 1987, an anguished, trembling Joy White pleaded for someone to help her find her infant daughter.

“I hope she’s all right,” the heartbroken mother told reporters at the time before collapsing in tears.

Now, 23 years later, White is crying tears of joy as the decades-long mystery of her missing daughter reached a happy ending.

The saga started on August 4, 1987, when White took her sick baby, Carlina, to a Harlem hospital because of an extremely high fever, a New York police official said.

Carlina was admitted in the hospital and White went home to rest. When the mother returned, Carlina was gone.

Years passed as White searched for her daughter, all the time holding onto a photograph of a baby girl she had only held for three weeks.

On January 4, White’s phone rang.

The 23-year mystery surrounding Carlina White has come to an end for her biological family.
The 23-year mystery surrounding Carlina White has come to an end for her biological family.

The woman on the other end of the line said she was Carlina, and she sent White a picture taken in 1987.

The face in the photograph bore a striking resemblance to that of the baby in the tattered picture White had held on to.

Police, too, agreed that the photographs looked alike and carried out a DNA test.

On Tuesday, the results came back — and they were a match.

“Carlina was a missing link,” Pat Conway, Carlina White’s aunt, told CNN affiliate WABC as she raised her hands in the air. “We have gotten her back. In the name of Jesus, Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.”

For her part, Carlina Renae White, had nursed a nagging feeling that she was raised by a family to which she did not belong, said Ernie Allen from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Raised under a different name, Carlina grew suspicious when the woman who raised her could not provide her with a birth certificate.

So she scoured the internet for answers, stumbling on the website of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. There, she came across an item about a baby girl who had been taken from a New York hospital.

She called the center, which in turn notified authorities.

Authorities are not saying much about the woman who raised Carlina White as they continue their investigation.

“I never gave up hope,” Carlina White’s grandmother, Elizabeth, told WABC. “It is like she has been around us all her life. She wasn’t a stranger. She fit right in.”

2 Responses to “Miracle Reunion: Daughter snatched from hospital reunited with mom 23 years later”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Look at God work:-)

  2. Tiki Says:

    That is a true blessing but if I took my baby to the hospital ( I probably wouldn’t leave if she/he had to stay overnight though) went home and came back and they talkin about my baby is GONE/MISSING ALL HELL WILL BREAK LOOSE!!!! WTH!! Did she sue the hospital or what?! See somebody/people wasn’t on their job. It’s kind of hard to take a baby out of that unit these days I guess, I’m just familiar of the setup where I work at. When I work in OB/Nursery it’s hard to take a baby out. Even if they try to take a baby out they can’t get out without being buzzed out. If someone did get out an immediate code “PINK” is called and everybody is on the lookout ASAP!. I guess back then they didn’t have secure nursery units, Idk

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