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Nalani Johnson

Nalani Johnson: Slain tot’s mom filed for protection against baby’s dad, claims he admitted to ‘almost killing’ little girl

Disturbing details continue to emerge in the case of a Pennsylvania toddler found dead on Tuesday at a state park in Indiana County.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities found Nalani Johnson, 1, deceased at the Pine Ridge Park in Indiana County. The toddler’s father, Paul Johnson, reported her missing Saturday after accused kidnapper, Sharena Nancy, allegedly fled in her car with the little girl after giving Johnson and a friend a ride.

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.

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According to police, an argument broke out inside Nancy’s vehicle. 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, but police said Johnson and Nancy were in an “intermittent” romantic relationship.

Nancy has been charged with concealment of whereabouts of a child, interference with custody, and kidnapping. Additional charges may follow, pending the results of an autopsy.

As of now, no one else has been charged in connection with the little girl’s disappearance and death, but court paperwork obtained by CBS Pittsburgh reveals Johnson has been accused of prior violence.

In April, Nalani’s mother, Gladys Duarte, filed the temporary Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) against Johnson and alleged that he “admitted to almost killing” Nalani. The order also stated that Duarte accused Johnson of ripping her photos off of her wall and stealing her food, shoes, and Xbox.

Duarte alleged that Johnson held a gun to his head and threatened to kill himself while Nalani sat with him inside his car. He was also accused of pulling a gun on Duarte’s sister while she reportedly tried to protect the child, and threatening to kill Duarte and anyone she’s with, the outlet reports.

The PFA expired when Duarte failed to show up to court at the end of April, according to court documents.

What Happened to Nalani?

After Johnson called 911 on Saturday to report his daughter missing, police pulled Nancy over at around 7:30 p.m., off of Rodi Road in Penn Hills. Nalani was not inside the vehicle, but authorities reported they had reason to believe Nancy was involved in the girl’s disappearance. Police subsequently arrested her.

The criminal complaint indicated that under questioning, Nancy told investigators 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. Nancy claimed that Johnson told her he sold his daughter for $10,000, police alleged.

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That’s not true,” Johnson’s aunt, Pariss Johnson, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “[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.”

Three days later, a team of law enforcement officials found the little girl deceased. Police have not confirmed or denied whether Johnson is considered a suspect or person of interest.

On Tuesday evening, Indiana County District Attorney, Patrick Dougherty, held a brief conference and ensured authorities are working to bring the “individuals” involved in the child’s death to justice.

“Make no mistake, we are working very hard to ensure the individuals involved are brought to justice,” Dougherty said.

Nalani was found in a wooded area, according to CBS Pittsburgh, who had reporters on the scene as police cordoned off the area with crime scene tape.

Law enforcement officers filed inside a home close to the park and brought out numerous items. It’s unclear at this time who lives in the home or how it’s connected to the case.

An autopsy on Nalani is scheduled for Wednesday to determine the cause and manner of death.

The story is developing. Check back for further details.

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[Feature Photo: Nalani Johnson/Facebook]