The body of Nalani Johnson, 2, who was reported missing earlier this month, was found a few days later nearly 40 miles from home.
Nalani’s father, Paul Johnson, was the first to report Nalani missing. He told police that he been in a car with Sharena Nancy, 25, who drives for Uber and Lyft, as well as a friend and Nalani. He claimed that he got out of the car and while he was attempting to get his daughter out of her car seat, Sharena took off with Nalani.
Police quickly tracked Sharena down, but there was no car seat or child in her car. After speaking with Sharena, the police heard a whole other side of the story.
Sharena says that Paul told her to drive 20 minutes to a stop along US 22 to meet a woman in a silver SUV. The woman would then take Nalani with her. Sharena claimed Paul sold his daughter to the woman for $10,000.
A few days later, Nalani’s body was found in Pine Ridge Park in Blairsville, PA, located 37 miles east of where was allegedly kidnapped.
Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty told reporters that they believe Sharena was involved in the girl’s death. “To what extent, that is still being determined,” he said.
The police are still investigating, but have learned that Sharena, who’s married, and Paul had been “romantically involved,” after meeting through social media. Police suspect there was a fight in the car right before Sharena took off with Nalani, though it’s not clear if it was between Sharena and Paul or Sharena and Paul’s friend.
Police have arrested Sharena for kidnapping and an autopsy is being conducted on Nalani to identify her cause of death while the police continue their investigation.
According to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4, Sharena remains the only suspect in the case.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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