NEW YORK - A North Carolina woman accused of snatching aninfant from a New York hospital more than two decades ago afterfailing in her own attempts to have children and raising her in Connecticut was ordered heldwithout bail on kidnapping charges today.
Ann Pettway, 49, folded her hands, stared straight ahead and wassilent during the five-minute court appearance. She surrenderedSunday, days after a widely publicized reunion between the childshe raised - now 23-year-old Carlina White - and her biologicalmother.
Pettway's lawyer, Robert Baum, said beforehand: "She feelsbadly. She's very upset. She's expressed concern about her family.But she understands the gravity of the charges."
Pettway, of Raleigh, N.C., earlier confessed to taking the babyin early August 1987 from Harlem Hospital during an interview aftershe surrendered to the FBI and Bridgeport police, FBI agentMaria Johnson said in a criminal complaint.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein ordered Pettwaydetained Monday after Baum said no bail application wouldimmediately be made. Because there is no indictment, no plea wasnecessary. She could face a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prisonor as much as life if she is convicted.
Pettway said she had had difficulty having her own children inthe 1980s, was dealing with the stress of trying to be a mother andhad suffered several miscarriages, when she went to the hospitaland saw the baby, the FBI said. "Pettway took the victim from the victim's family and this wastotally unacceptable. Pettway is truly sorry," Johnson saidPettway told her in a written statement.
After taking the baby, Pettway brought her outside the hospitaland, when no one stopped her, proceeded to a train and on to herhome in Bridgeport, where she told friends and familymembers that the baby was her child, the agent said. AP wire services contributed to this report
Officer says family connection led to kidnapper's arrestBridgeport kidnapping suspect due in courtFBI: NC mom of kidnapped Bronx baby is held in Conn.Investigators seek woman who raised kidnapped child in Conn.NY kidnapping victim was raised in Bridgeport