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Nalani Johnson

Nalani Johnson: Months after tot girl was killed & left in car seat in park, rideshare driver charged with homicide

A Pennsylvania woman previously accused of kidnapping is now facing additional charges, following the death of her former boyfriend’s toddler daughter last month.

Penn Live reports that 25-year-old Sharena Islam Nancy was charged with criminal homicide in connection with the death of 1-year-old Nalani Johnson, who was only a few days shy of her second birthday when authorities found her deceased at Pine Ridge Park in Indiana County.

According to WPXI, a coroner officially ruled Nalani’s manner of death as a homicide earlier this week. In addition to homicide charges, Nancy is also accused of abusing a corpse.

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As CrimeOnline previously reported, Nalani’s father, Paul Johnson, reported the little girl missing on September 1, after Nancy, a former Uber and Lyft driver, allegedly fled in her car with Nalani still in the backseat, sitting in a car seat. Johnson said his daughter and family member Justin Rouse were in the car with him on the day in question, as they rode with Nancy in her black Toyota Yaris.

According to police, an argument broke out inside the vehicle. Nancy demanded the men get out of her car, but she 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.

Sharena Nancy [Police Handout]
“She was in a car seat in the back and he went around to get the car seat out with his daughter. And at the time he had his hand on the door and she drove off,” Nalani’s grandfather, Paul Johnson, said in September.

Police initially arrested Nancy on charges of concealment of whereabouts of a child, interference with custody, and kidnapping. Nancy denied harming the toddler and claimed that Johnson told her to drop Nalani off with an “unknown person” after he sold the child for $10,000. Investigators found no evidence of what she alleged.

On September 3, police found Nalani’s body in a wooded area of Pine Ridge Park, still strapped in her car seat. Her body showed no signs of trauma

Nancy is the sole suspect in the case, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. said last month, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

According to Zappala, authorities electronically traced Nancy’s path from the time she fled with Nalani from Penn Hills on Saturday, to the time she left the little girl in the park.

Spokespersons for both Uber and Lyft indicated that Nancy was not working for them when the alleged incident happened.

Nancy remains behind bars without bond. Check back for further updates.

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[Feature Photo: Nalani Johnson/Handout]