There is a tragic update to the case of missing two-year-old girl Nalani Johnson.
The body of the Pennsylvania toddler – missing since the weekend – has sadly been found. Nalani’s body was found on Tuesday at Pine Ridge Park in Indiana County just outside of Pittsburgh.
The female suspect was reportedly in a relationship with Nalani’s father. On Monday, Allegheny County Police charged Sharena Nancy, 25, with Nalani’s kidnapping.
According to KDKA, it is likely her charges will be upgraded now that the toddler’s body has been found.
Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty confirmed at a press conference that the body of Nalani Johnson was found by searchers.
“We can confirm that the missing child was found here in Pine Ridge Park in Indiana County. This is an ongoing investigation. The info we can provide is very limited,” the DA said.
“We are working hand in hand with state police and Allegheny County police and the district attorney’s office. The FBI has also been here and is assisting.”
According to police, Nancy drove through Murrysville and New Alexandria to Blairsville, Indiana County.
After an Amber Alert was issued, she was pulled over by police on Rodi Road in Penn Hills about 7:30 p.m. However Nalani was not in the car, and neither was the car seat she had been in.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Nancy told cops Nalani’s father, Paul Johnson, told her to hand the little girl to a woman along Route 22. She said he was selling his daughter for $10,000.
But Superintendent McDonough said there was nothing to corroborate Ms. Nancy’s version of events.
“She’s provided a number of statements to us,” he said.
The child’s father previously told investigators in Penn Hills that he and a friend were riding in a car driven by Nancy on Saturday evening.
When he got out of the car and was moving to get Nalani out of her car seat, Nancy drove off.
“Sharena Nancy and Paul Johnson became acquainted intermittently over the last few months, so they were known to each other,” police said.
“They were friends; they were in the beginnings of an intermittent romantic relationship.”
Bur Johnson’s grandmother has fiercely denied the child’s father had any involvement in the kidnapping.
Taji Walsh, dismissed the allegations, telling reporters that if police thought the father was involved “he wouldn’t be walking freely – he’d be locked up like she is.”