As the search intensifies for a missing Pennsylvania toddler, Nalani Johnson, CrimeOnline spoke with the husband of the alleged kidnapper, who said he was shocked to learn that his wife knew the father of the kidnapped child.
Uddin Rahain, 22 the husband of accused kidnapper Shareena Nancy, told CrimeOnline that he never thought his wife would be capable of what she’s been accused of.
According to police, 25-year-old Nancy has been charged with concealment of whereabouts of a child, interference with custody, and kidnapping. Police detained Nancy on Saturday night after the 1-year-old Nalani Johnson’s father, Paul Johnson, reported her missing.
Johnson called 911 a little after 5 p.m. on Saturday and said he got a ride from Nancy, who was an Uber and Lyft driver. Johnson’s daughter and his friend Justin Rouse were also in the car. When Johnson got out of the car, Nancy allegedly sped away with the child still inside.
Rahain said he had never heard of Johnson’s name until he spoke with a detective, following his wife’s arrest. Rahain said afterward, he went to his wife’s Snapchat account to investigate. He provided a screenshot of his wife’s friends list, which showed the screen name “pauljohnson-115,” with the display name #BEENTRILL.
Johnson’s mother, Taji Walsh, previously told CBS Pittsburgh that they didn’t know the woman.
“We don’t know her personally,” Walsh told the outlet.
However, Walsh’s comment came became before a Tuesday afternoon press release, where authorities indicated they had since learned Johnson and Nancy met each other months prior and were in the beginnings of an “intermittent” romantic relationship.
According to police, an argument broke out inside Nancy’s vehicle on Saturday. She demanded the men get out of her car, but she allegedly fled the scene before Johnson could get Nalani out of the vehicle. It’s unclear what the argument was about.
Police said Johnson was seated in the front seat of the car, while Rouse and Nalani were in the backseat. Nalani was in an Evenflo car seat that was missing when detectives searched Nancy’s car.
BREAKING NEWS: State Police and the FBI hold a news conference on the search for missing 2-year-old Nalani Johnson.MORE: https://cbsloc.al/2kptFHb
Posted by KDKA-TV | CBS Pittsburgh on Tuesday, September 3, 2019
After her arrest, the suspect told police that Johnson asked her to drive the little girl “20 minutes from a gas station in Monroeville along U.S. Route 22,” where someone would pick the toddler up. Nalani claimed that Johnson told her he sold his daughter for $10,000, police alleged.
Nancy reportedly said that Johnson showed her a photo of a black female and told her to meet the woman and hand over Nalani. Nancy said she spotted the woman standing outside of a Silver SUV with an out-of-state license plate. The suspect said another woman was waiting inside the SUV, police said, according to a criminal complaint.
Nancy claimed she handed Nalani and the car seat over to the woman standing by the SUV, but investigators said they have no evidence to show that Nancy met anyone in an SUV.
Johnson and his family deny having anything to do with the little girl’s disappearance. Authorities said the man was visibly shaking and upset after the alleged kidnapping.
“That’s not true,” Johnson’s aunt, Pariss Johnson, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday.
“[Someone] will say anything at that point when you’re being arrested, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s fact. He’s been cleared, but again the police, we want them to come out and make a statement in regards to that.”
Investigators say this is a image from a video from Sheetz in Murrysville of suspect Sharena Nancy. The video was taken on 5:25 pm on Saturday, around 30 minutes after investigators believe Nancy took off with 2-yr-old #NalaniJohnson in her car pic.twitter.com/OZOSmxFB89
— Aaron Martin (@WPXIAaronMartin) September 3, 2019
Police said security footage captured Nancy at a Sheetz convenience store at 4701 William Penn Highway in Murrysville, at around 5:30 p.m., shortly after Johnson called 911.
Between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Nancy also drove her black Toyota Yaris, with PA plate KLW3926, to the areas of Blairsville, New Alexandria, and Delmont in Westmoreland County, according to investigators.
No one else has been charged at this time. The girl’s family members were questioned by Penn Hills detectives and subsequently released.
A spokesperson for Uber said no one under Nancy’s name “took trips on the app this past weekend,” according to KDKA. However, she may have been working as a jitney driver, according to police. A Lyft spokesperson issued a statement that although Nancy was not driving for them over the weekend, they have since fired her due to the “disturbing” accusations.
“While this incident did not happen on the Lyft platform, these allegations are deeply disturbing. The safety of our community is fundamental to Lyft and we have permanently banned this individual from driving with Lyft.”
Nalani is described as a black female with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen at the intersection of Bryant and Clay Drives in Penn Hills. She was wearing a black shirt, black sandals, and a floral-designed skirt.
Allegheny County police said Nalani is of “average height and weight” for a female of her age. Nalani is a few weeks shy of her 2nd birthday.
Nancy’s preliminary is set for September 16, before Penn Hills Magisterial District Judge Anthony DeLuca. She’s currently behind bars at the Allegheny County Jail without bail.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Allegheny County Police Tipline at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477).
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[Feature Photo: Nalani Johnson/Facebook]