A Pennsylvania toddler who was allegedly kidnapped by an Indian-American woman has died. Nalani Johnson, who was not quite 2-years-old yet, was found dead in Pine Ridge Park in Burrell Township, Indiana County, Sept. 3, three days after she was allegedly kidnapped by Sharena Islam Nancy.
The 25-year- old ride share driver, who is in the Allegheny County jail awaiting arraignment, is charged with kidnapping of a minor, interference with custody of children and concealment of whereabouts of a child.
A CNN report, citing a criminal complaint filed by Allegheny County police, reported that Nalani's father, Paul Johnson, said he had an “intermittent romantic relationship” with Nancy. He said she drove off with his daughter on Aug. 31 after an argument. Johnson said he, his daughter and a friend spent several hours with Nancy driving around on Aug. 31 before they began arguing, according to the criminal complaint.
According to new reports, Johnson said he got out of the car, but when he went to get his daughter from her car seat, Nancy drove off with her. He reportedly told detectives he tried calling Nancy’s cellphone multiple times, but she never picked up, so he called 911. When the police stopped Nancy’s car, they didn’t find the toddler, but they arrested her.
However, Nancy told the investigator, according to KTLA 5, that Johnson sold his daughter for $10,000 and that she was completing the drop off. Her husband Raihan Uddin, told WALK News 10 that Nancy was working as a rideshare driver last night. He said the two were talking as she finished up her shift around 7 p.m. He said they were on vedo call for a bit, and that he did not see or hear anyone else in the car.
Meanwhile, Coroner Jerry Overman told CNN that although the autopsy is completed, the results are still pending, and his office will not release the child’s cause and manner of death for another six to eight weeks. Overman said they plan to do toxicology and metabolic testing among other microscopic studies before announcing findings.
KTLA 5 reports that a joint statement from district attorney offices of Allegheny and Indiana counties said “the expectation is that the manner of death will be homicide.” If that’s the case, then Zappala told the channel that he would charge Nancy with criminal homicide in addition to her existing charges.
“There’s no evidence that indicates anybody else was responsible for that child being taken from Penn Hills and ultimately being placed in that field, or in the woods in Indiana County,” Zappala told KTLA 5. “We have her movement, we have civilian witnesses, we’ve got technology, we’ve got — it’s a good case, it’s a good case to try.”