As authorities continue their third day of searches for a missing Pennsylvania toddler, they’re asking the public to keep an eye for a car seat that was apparently taken out of an alleged kidnapper’s vehicle.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 25-year-old Sharena Islam 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 his child missing.
Johnson called 911 a little after 5 p.m. on Saturday and said he got a ride from Nancy, who may have worked as both an Uber and Lyft driver. His daughter and his friend Justin Rouse were also in the car. When Johnson got out of the car walked, Nancy allegedly sped away with the child still inside, strapped in a car seat.
According to court documents, 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.
Johnson and his family deny having anything to do with the little girl’s disappearance.
After detaining Nancy, authorities searched her car and didn’t find a car seat inside. The seat is described as a black and grey Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Seat.
Police said security footage captured Nancy at a Sheetz convenience store at 4701 William Penn Highway in Murrysville, at around 5:30 p.m. 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.
Authorities questioned Nancy at the Penn Hills Police Department on Saturday, but she was initially uncooperative. She’s now being held without bond.
According to court documents, the suspect said Johnson showed her a photo of a black female and told her to meet the woman and hand over Nalani. Nancy reportedly 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.
Nancy claimed she handed Nalani and the car seat over to the woman standing by the SUV.
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.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Allegheny County Police Tipline at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477).
Police said the Uber driver is not a relative of the child, although she may have known some of her family members.
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[Feature Photo: Nalani Johnson/Police Handout]