Pennsylvania authorities shared a photo of a woman accused of kidnapping a 1-year-old toddler, taken from security footage at a convenience store in Murrysville.
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’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 worked as an Uber and Lyft driver. His daughter and his friend Justin Rouse were also in the car.
According to police, an argument broke out inside Nancy’s vehicle on Saturday, between Nancy and Rouse. 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 seated in an Evenflo car seat.
Police pulled the suspect over off of Rodi Road in Penn Hills on Saturday evening at around 7:30 p.m. The little girl and her car seat were not inside the vehicle.
Investigators said that prior to detaining Nancy, she traveled in her black Toyota Yaris, with PA plate KLW3926, to the areas of Blairsville, New Alexandria, and Delmont in Westmoreland County, between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
She also stopped at a Sheetz convenience at 4701 William Penn Highway in Murrysville, at around 5:30 p.m.
After her arrest, the suspect told police that Johnson asked her to drive Nalami “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, according to a criminal complaint.
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.”
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.”
Meanwhile, Nalani remains missing.
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.
FBI agents and local authorities were spotted at the Indiana County Park on Tuesday afternoon. They’ve cordoned off the area with crime scene tape.
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]