Kidnapper Ann Pettway, who admitted to snatching baby Carlina White from a New York hospital 23 years ago, was tracked down by police through a surprise Facebook message from a family member, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Lt. David Daniels of the Bridgeport Police Department in Connecticut received a surprise message on Sunday on his Facebook page alerting him of Pettway's location.
The family member - who has not been named - had turned to Daniels, a 23-year veteran of the Bridgeport Police Department, for assistance because they knew he would treat the situation fairly and with an even hand, reported the Bridgeport News.
After the experienced officer responded to the relative on the social networking site, he got a call from them and then Ann herself came on the line.
Pettway had been on the run since January 21st after she fled her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she was on probation for an embezzlement charge stemming from June 2010.
The fugitive headed back to the Connecticut town that she grew up in and where many of her family members still live, including her mom, Mary.
Lt. Daniels said that Pettway, "looked like the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders," when he arrived to pick her up with FBI agents.
As a local police officer and a Bridgeport resident, Lt. Daniels had known the Pettway family for decades but didn't have a clue that the young girl renamed Nejdra Nance wasn't Pettway's natural daughter.
Now that the missing baby mystery is solved, he's just happy that the White family are reunited.
"I wish Carlina and her family well,” he said.
Daniels was not the only local who had no idea of the deception, in an exclusive interview with RadarOnline.com, Pettway's nephew Levar Jaudon said he never suspected his cousin was not a blood relative.
"I grew up down the street from Nejdra in Connecticut and we were friends as kids," Jaudon, who now lives in Georgia, told RadarOnline.com. "I had no idea she wasn’t her daughter and I was pretty upset and shocked when I saw it on the news."
Pettway appeared in a Manhattan Federal Court on Monday, where she faces federal kidnapping charges. Her attorney spoke about his client’s tearful interview. "She's pretty upset, but she understands what's going on," Robert Baum told People magazine.
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