Well, it was only a matter of time. The cable network Lifetime put out a release today announcing that it was turning the story of Ann Pettway, who stole baby Carlina White from Harlem Hospital in 1987 and raised her in Bridgeport — into one of its signature ripped from the headlines movies. Pettway plead guilty to the kidnapping earlier this year.
The press release for the film is below:
Lifetime has green lit the Original Movie Abducted: The Carlina White Story, starring Aunjanue Ellis (The Help), Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP), and Emmy® Award winner Sherri Shepherd (30 Rock, The View) in the remarkable true story of Carlina White (Palmer), who after being abducted as an infant from a New York hospital, solved her own kidnapping and reunited with her biological parents 23 years later. Production will commence in Vancouver this week, with the movie slated to air later this year. The case is reported to be the first known infant abduction from a New York hospital.
In August of 1987, new parents Joy White (Shepherd) and Carl Tyson (Roger Cross, 24) took their 19-day old daughter Carlina to Harlem Hospital in New York with a high fever. Ann Pettway (Ellis), who had suffered a series of miscarriages and was desperate for a child of her own, posed as a hospital nurse and befriended Carlina’s parents, even offering to watch over their daughter. But shortly after Carlina was admitted, Pettway removed the child’s IV line, placed her in an oversized handbag, and walked out of the hospital with Carlina hidden from view. While Joy and Carl desperately searched for their daughter over the years, Pettway was raising Carlina as Nejdra “Netty” Nance in Bridgeport, Connecticut – a mere 45 miles from New York City. As Carlina grew older she began to suspect Pettway was not her birth mother and launched her own investigation. After contacting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Carlina was reunited with her biological parents in January 2011.
Abducted: The Carlina White Story will be produced by Pilgrim Studios (Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy), with Emmy Award winner Craig Piligian serving as executive producer. Mary Martin and Alan Gasmer also are executive producers. Emmy Award nominated actor/director Vondie Curtis Hall (Chicago Hope, ER) is directing the film, which was written by Elizabeth Hunter (Jumping the Broom, Sins of The Mother).